The ultimate sandwich and a great addition to any picnic. Full of flavour and able to be made in advance, it is also a sandwich that can be modified to any taste Italian immigrants brought the sandwich to New Orleans where it is believed it was first created.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (8 votes)

Ideally, make the giardiniera a week ahead but you can also buy it ready made from Italian grocers, along with everything else you need for this recipe.


  • 2 red bullhorn peppers
  • 1 round loaf wholemeal, rye or white country bread
  • 100 g sliced provolone
  • 100 g sliced Swiss cheese
  • 150 g sliced mortadella
  • 150 g sliced hot salami
  • 150 g sliced ham  
  • handful rocket leaves
  • handful basil leaves


  • 100 g celery
  • 100 g cauliflower
  • 100 g carrots   
  • 2 globe artichokes, cleaned
  • 800 ml white vinegar
  • 20 g sea salt
  • 10 g sugar
  • 2 red chillies
  • 5 g dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves   
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

Olive tapenade

  • 100 g black olives, pitted
  • 100 g green olives, pitted
  • 60 g capers
  • 60 g peeled French shallots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves picked
  • ½ bunch oregano, leaves picked
  • 50 ml sherry vinegar
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started 1 day in advance.

  1. For the giadiniera, cut all the vegetables into a similar size and pack tightly into a large preserving jar. Place the vinegar, salt, sugar and 200 ml water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until warm and the salt has dissolved.  Add the chilli, oregano, bay leaves and coriander seeds, then pour the pickling mixture over the vegetables, adding a bit of extra water if necessary to cover them completely. Seal and stand for about 1 week before serving.
  2. Place the peppers over a naked flame and cook, turning regularly for 5-10 minutes or until charred and blistered. Place in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and stand for 10 minutes to sweat. Peel and de–seed and set aside.
  3. For the tapenade, finely chop all the ingredients (you can do this in a food processor if you like). Place in a bowl and stir in the vinegar and olive oil.
  4. To assemble, using a sharp knife, cut out a disc from the top of the bread loaf and reserve the top. Use your hands to pull out the centre of the loaf, leaving the crusty shell of the bread. Lay a few slices of cheese on the base, then start creating layers of the cured meats, olive tapenade, chopped giardiniera, charred peppers, rocket leaves and basil leaves. Once the loaf is full, press the reserved crust lid on and press down well to close the loaf. Wrap the loaf in a clean kitchen towel and place a weight on top to press the layers together. Refrigerate with the weight on top overnight.
  5. When ready to serve, unwrap the muffuletta and cut into wedges. Serve on a picnic blanket with a beautiful view on a sunny day.  


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.