Here is a recipe for a fantastic sandwich that travels well, keeps well and feeds the multitudes. It is my variation on a "Muffaletta", a classic from N'Awlins that my family loves. Let me give props to some research I did on the the Food Network website, which I combined with a sandwich I grew up with that we called a "Zep", short for zeppelin, that my parents discovered when we were stationed near Valley Forge, PA.
First make the dressing:
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and minced
1/3 c. olive oil
2 T. jalapeno olive spread (from a jar, I used Mezetta's)
10 pitted, chopped black olives
6 green olives, with pimentos, chopped
1/4 c. roasted red pepper, chopped
a little fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
Whisk together the vinegar, dried oregano and garlic. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Add in the rest of your ingredients
Now, for constructing your sandwich:
1 round crusty, loaf ("boule") of bread, about 1 lb., 7" diameter and 3" high
6-8 slices thinly sliced, smoked ham, such as Sahlens Smokehouse Ham
8-10 slices hard salami
6-8 slices provolone cheese
1/2 onion, thinly sliced and soaked in some cold water**
1 c. shredded lettuce (iceberg or romaine)
1 dill Kosher spear pickle, minced
Cut the top inch off the bread and set aside. Hollow out almost all of the interior of the round bottom, leaving a sturdy shell intact. Spread several T. of your dressing mixture over the bottom of the shell, and up the sides. Layer in the meats and cheeses. Top them with the onions, lettuce and pickle. Spread a little more of the dressing on top. Carefully cover with the reserved top of the loaf.
Wrap this tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 min. and up to 24 hours.
Use the bread you pulled out of the middle of the boule' to soak up the rest of the dressing mixture as a yummy appetizer!
**Cooks note: Soaking the onions takes some of the bite out of them and makes them more palatable. Simply slice them very thinly, and put them into a bowl with some cold water. Let them soak about 10 minutes, and drain off the water before using.
When you are ready to serve, cut the sandwich into pie shaped slices. They can be as thin or as thick as you need them to be, depending on how many people you need to serve. This will AMPLY serve 6 and could serve as many as 12.
And Let Me Just Say, GO HOKIES!!