Serves 4 as an appetizer or side

Pointe Coupee Muffuletta Heirlooms

Named for the Louisiana Parish where I enjoyed the best muffuletta sandwich, this recipe takes the great flavors of a muffuletta sandwich and stuffs them in tomatoes. Originally created as an appetizer, these also make a great light lunch paired with crusty bread. Use a food processor to finely chop the initial ingredients. Just be sure to pulse chop so it does not end up a paste. The flavor of the filling needs a few hours to fully develop so plan ahead. Heirloom tomatoes offer the best flavor base but if difficult to find, substitute other fully ripe tomatoes.

½ c pimiento-stuffed green olives
¼ c Kalamata olives
½ c giardiniera, chopped (pickled Italian vegetables)
1 T capers
2 T red pepper, rough chopped
1 t fresh parsley, chopped
½ t thyme, chopped
½ T red wine vinegar
1 T garlic infused olive oil
1 T extra virgin olive oil
4 medium heirloom tomatoes
1 slice provolone cheese
1 slice mozzarella cheese
1 slice white cheddar
1 slice Genoa salami
1 T olive tapenade

Flavor Tier 1

Place the olives, giardiniera, capers, red pepper, parsley, thyme, vinegar, and garlic olive oil in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not a paste. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil if needed. Place in small bowl, cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours to meld flavors. The longer this sits the better the flavor.

Flavor Tier 2

One and a half hours before serving, cut tops off of tomatoes. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the inside of each tomato leaving about ¼” on sides and bottom. Do not break through the skin. Turn upside down on paper towels to dry for an hour.

Flavor Tier 3

Cut each slice of cheese and salami into quarters.

Flavor Tier 4

Assemble (can be done up to an hour ahead). Place one tomato on each of four serving plates. Evenly divide filling mix between tomatoes. Push a quarter of each cheese and salami into tomatoes point first.

Flavor Tier 5

Evenly divide tapenade between tomatoes. Serve.