We love pizza. We love muffaletta. We decided they probably would be easy to love together.
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So we decided to combine them. In honor of Mardi Gras, we created a muffaletta flatbread, a basic thin-crust pizza topped with all the classic ingredients of New Orleans' beloved muffaletta sandwich. We start with a red pepper pesto blended from roasted bell peppers, capers and toasted walnuts. We then top that with an olive and cherry pepper blend, then finally sliced salami and provolone cheese.
For a shortcut version, prep the red pepper pesto and olive salad ahead of time. They can be refrigerated for several days. You also could substitute mixed marinated olives from the grocer's olive bar for the olive salad.
Start to finish: 45 minutes
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For the red pepper pesto:
1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts
For the olive salad:
1/2 cup green olives
1/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup chopped sweet cherry peppers
1/4 cup chopped pickled vegetables
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the flatbreads:
20-ounce ball pizza dough, room temperature
2 1/2 ounces sliced salami, cut into thin strips
3 ounces sliced provolone cheese, cut into thin strips
Heat the oven to 500 F. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
To make the pesto, in a food processor combine the roasted red peppers, capers, olive oil and the walnuts. Pulse until very finely chopped, then transfer to a bowl.
To make the olive salad, in the food processor (no need to clean it) combine both olive varieties, the cherry peppers, pickled vegetables, garlic, pepper, Italian herbs and red pepper flakes. Pulse until roughly chopped. The pieces should be no bigger than a 1/4 inch.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Stretch or roll the dough into long, thin ovals, about 4-by-9 inches. Arrange the dough on the prepared baking sheets and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
If needed, stretch out the dough ovals again. Lightly brush each piece of dough with olive oil. Top each with alternating stripes of pesto and olive salad across the dough, then top with strips of salami and provolone. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is crisp and the flatbreads are lightly browned. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition information per serving: 390 calories; 170 calories from fat (44 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (4.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 13 g protein; 1,120 mg sodium.