The new cookbook from Bobby Flay is taken from his popular TV show: The author/chef goes to the best of the best in their field and tries his own recipe for a particular dish against the time-tested creation of his competitor. Only one can be the winner. Our cookbook columnist says Bobby Flay's Throwdown! holds "a trove of winning recipes," and though a victor is declared in each case, readers at home can make their own decision after making both versions.

Today we're giving you two recipes for Muffuletta. A note about the winner is at the bottom, but we won't give it away here if you want to have your own challenge at home. Ready, set—cook!

Bobby Flay’s Muffuletta

Serves 8

Special Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar

1½ cups mixed pitted green olives, such as picholine and cerignola

4 piquillo chiles, or 2 roasted red bell peppers (see Notes, page 22)

Cloves from 1 head garlic, roasted

4 anchovy fillets in oil, patted dry

½ small red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 (8- or 9-inch) round loaf Italian bread

¹?³ pound thinly sliced Italian Genoa salami

¹?³ pound thinly sliced Spanish salami

¹?³ pound thinly sliced Serrano ham

¹?³ pound thinly sliced capicola ham

¹?³ pound thinly sliced Manchego cheese


1. To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, olives, peppers, garlic, anchovies, onion, oregano, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth (it should be a little chunky); season with salt and pepper.

2. Slice the bread in half horizontally. Remove a little of the inside of the top crust; then slather the bottom and top halves of the bread with the dressing. Layer the meats and cheese on the bottom half of the bread and cover with the top half.

3. Wrap the sandwich tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Put a heavy sauté pan on top,and put a few cans inside the pan to weight it down. Refrigerate for at least 4 and up to 24 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Mike and Jack Serio’s Muffuletta

Serves 4 to 6
Olive Salad

¾ cup broken green olives stuffed with pimentos, drained

¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives

¼ cup giardiniera (jarred Italian pickled vegetables), drained

4 pepperoncini, halved

2 tablespoons pickled pearl onions (not sweet)

2 tablespoons diced carrot

2 tablespoons chopped celery

2 tablespoons brined capers, drained

½ clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Freshly ground black pepper


1 (9- to 10-inch) round loaf seeded Italian bread

4 ounces sliced boiled ham

4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

4 ounces sliced mortadella

4 ounces sliced provolone cheese

4 ounces sliced Genoa salami

1. To make the olive salad, toss the olives, giardiniera, pepperoncini, pickled onions, carrot, celery, capers, and garlic with the olive oil in a bowl. Add the oregano, parsley, basil, and black pepper to taste, and toss again to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

2. Cut the bread in half crosswise. Spread the top half with 1 cup of the olive salad. Layer the meats and cheeses on the bottom half. Put on the top with its salad. Serve cold. Buon appetito and laissez les bons temps rouler!


Recipes reprinted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown! by Bobby Flay. Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

Wondering whose cuisine reigned supreme? Bobby ceded this one to the challengers, Mike and Jack Serio, who ran Serio's Po-Boys & Deli in New Orleans together until Jack's death in 2007. If you make them both, be sure to let us know if you agree with the results in the comments.

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