Playing in the dirt.

Today’s harvest was more radishes and lettuces.  One bunch each of the French Breakfast and German Giant radishes, and about four loosely packed cups of assorted clippings of the largest leaves out of all the lettuce and spinach sections.  So, about twice as much of everything as last week, and it hardly looks like I made a dent in the lettuce.  That’s about $2 each of lettuce and radishes, based off farmer’s market prices, so my total return on the garden so far is $6.  We shouldn’t have to buy lettuce the rest of the summer!

A bowl of mixed lettuce greens and two bunches of radishes.

Hey! Turns out I’m a gardener!

I decided to make muffaletta sandwiches for dinner tonight after encountering some lovely garlic-rosemary-asiago foccacia bread at the farmer’s market on Thursday evening.  I began by slicing the bread horizontally.  Dressing was extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh-cracked four-pepper blend, and just a tiny bit of fresh ground sea salt.  The meats and cheeses are pretty salty already, and I didn’t want to over-salt the sandwiches, but I also wanted to season the dressing and the vegetables.

Focaccia bread drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It’s very tempting to just eat it at this stage.

 

Traditionally, muffaletta uses an olive salad made with giardiniera, but as I do not care for olives and giardiniera does not care for me, I chopped up some canned roasted red peppers instead.

Focaccia bread drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with chopped roasted red peppers.

Roasted red peppers are a good substitute for olive salad.

Then I layered roast turkey, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, Black Forest ham, hard salami, and provolone cheese, all sliced very thinly.  A second sandwich for someone with a ham aversion used roast beef, turkey, and hard salami with the two kinds of cheese.

On top of that, I spread today’s lettuce harvest, thinly sliced onions and thinly sliced roma tomatoes.  Romas are not traditionally sandwich tomatoes, but I find they are less likely to trigger my tomato sensitivity.  I suspect that’s because Romas have so few seeds compared to their larger sandwich-typical cousins.

Most of a muffaletta sandwich, composed of focaccia bread, roasted red peppers, a variety of cold cuts and cheeses, mixed leaf lettuce, onion and tomato.

What do you mean I have to wait until dinner?

Then I wrapped the sandwich in waxed paper (plastic wrap is a popular alternative, but I appear to be out).  I placed a clean cutting board on top of the sandwich, assembled and wrapped the second sandwich, put that sandwich on top of the cutting board, put a large cast-iron skillet on the whole stack, and put it in the refrigerator with a package of bottled drinks on top of it to press it down.  Pressing is optional, but I find it helps marry the flavors, plus then I don’t have to unhinge my jaw to eat it.

Dinner is now over.  I think I should have picked up some fresh basil at the farmer’s market and put that on with the roasted red peppers.  I also think it needed more cheese, and maybe some banana peppers.  The nice thing about muffaletta, is you can make it somewhat differently every time!

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