Take it easy. We’ve got a big sandwich — huge in fact — coming your way. It’s all thanks to the immigrant Sicilian farmers in early 1900s New Orleans. They wanted a lunch they could easily eat on their laps while sitting outside of Central Grocery where they bought their deli meats, cheese, olive salad and bread. It was too messy to eat separately, so the owner put it together as a sandwich. And it’s now forever etched into the canon of New Orleans cuisine. Invite some friends over. Pop open some brews. Grab the chips. And let the good times roll.
for the olive salad
Mash the garlic and anchovy with the flat of a chef’s knife into a paste. Put into a large bowl. Add the olives, red pepper, giardiniera, capers, celery, parsley, oregano, olive oil and vinegar and stir to combine.
for the sandwich
Slice the bread in half horizontally. Scoop some of the bread out of the top and discard or make into fresh breadcrumbs. Spoon 1/2 cup of the olive filling onto the bottom loaf. Layer, reaching the edges, with the mortadella, Genoa, sopressata, coppa, Milano and provolone. Spread the remaining olive salad over the inside top loaf. Flip the bottom loaf onto the top loaf, and then carefully flip right side up. Wrap in plastic, place on a plate and weigh down with cookbooks or another plate and some large cans. Let it press for at least 1 hour at room temperature. We prefer it overnight in the fridge so it gets good and greasy. Bring to room temperature, if you can wait that long, before eating.