Muffuletta – A Yummy Sandwich
You need a large round loaf for this. Cut it in half horizontally and scoop out the bread from both the top and bottom pieces, leaving about 1/2” of crust. Lay lettuce leaves down in the bottom. Top with about 2 T. Ranch dressing (I think Italian dressing or “sub sauce” is really good in place of the Ranch too). Then layer on thin slices of cucumber, slices of cheese, sliced lunchmeat, thin slices of tomato, red onion slices, more meat, and more cheese. Top it off with another layer of lettuce leaves, more dressing, and the top crust. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Allow this to sit in your refrigerator for 2-24 hours to allow the flavours to meld together. Obviously, you could vary the contents of this in many many ways. I’ve heard of some people weighing these down with bricks on top to flatten them somewhat and I’ve heard of making smaller versions that will fit into a panini press and heat/pressing them.
Some of my Favourite (Easy) Salad Recipes
Tortellini Salad: Combine 1 lg. bag of cheese tortellini, 1 can of green beans, and 1 basket grape or cherry tomatoes. Toss with balsamic dressing.
Watermelon Salad: Combine chunks of watermelon, peaches, chopped red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and bacon bits. Season with basil and toss with a vinaigrette.
Fig Salad: Soak sliced figs in balsamic vinegar. Add to this, olive oil, chopped red onion, shredded cooked chicken, almonds, and herbs of your choice (I like basil, tarragon, thyme, and/or rosemary). You can eat as is or serve over a bed a greens.
Carrot Salad: Mix together shredded carrots, toasted sunflower seeds, raisins, and if you like a little kick, some toasted cumin seeds. Toss with berries of your choice (raspberries or blueberries are really good here), a lemon vinaigrette, and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.
A Different Spinach Salad: Combine baby spinach leaves with toasted slivered almonds, chopped figs, and goat cheese or bocconcinni. Toss with a dressing made of: almond butter thinned down with a bit of water and sherry, red wine, or balsamic vinegar. For croutons, make a grilled cheese sandwich and cut into little cubes.
What’s a picnic without lemonade?
Heat 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in pot over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 12 lemons) and 6 cups water. Strain if desired (you can leave the pulp in if you prefer) and refrigerate until cold. For stronger lemon flavour, add some of the juiced lemon halves (wash before squeezing) to the lemonade.
Shred 1 small cabbage and mix with 2 cups grated carrots and 1 large onion, diced. Mix 1/4 cup each vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add raisins, chickpeas, nuts, and/or dried cranberries. It will keep in the fridge for about a week. If you prefer less of a “crunch” to it, make the day before you plan to serve it and it will soften a bit in the refrigerator.
Here’s another take on a watermelon salad! Simply combine:
1 1/2 lb watermelon, cubed
1 large orange segmented
1/4 small red onion thinly sliced
2 oz feta, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley
4 tsp olive oil
fleur de sel or sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Quick Cucumber Pickles
Cut up 2 med cucumbers into thin spears, lengthwise. Toss them with 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 T sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Let this sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes and serve. A little punch of fresh dill would be delicious with this too!