You may not be familiar with exactly what makes this sandwich a muffuletta? The original muffuletta was first served at Central Grocery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Not only does the bread set the sandwich apart, but the olive salad is a MUST. You can either purchase ready-made olive salad or make your own.
A muffuletta is a large, round, and somewhat flattened loaf with a sturdy texture, around 10 inches across. It's a little like focaccia, but is very light and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. For these sliders, I used a small, semi-hard roll, split and brushed on the inside with olive oil.
A traditional style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. The sandwich is sometimes heated to soften the provolone. But most muffuletta purists DO NOT heat theirs. Quarter, half, and full-sized muffulettas are sold.
The signature olive salad consists of olives diced with the celery, cauliflower and carrot found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours.
When planning a Mardi Gras party, I thought that individual muffulettas would be easier to serve/eat than the very large sandwiches even when quartered.
We made an assembly line of the meats and cheese and used a biscuit cutter a little smaller than the rolls to cut out the fillings so they would all be uniform. A layer of olive salad on the bottom, meat, cheese, meat, cheese and more olive salad and the top layer of the roll. Ta-Da! Mini-Muffuletta Sliders. These were a hit.