Mini Vegetarian Muffalettas

Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day are essentially back to back this year y'all and it's a foodie paradise. Although I've never celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I would love to have that experience one day. I spent three days in New Orleans several years ago for a conference and it is hands down my favorite city in the U.S.

These mini vegetarian muffalettas are a spin on the large, meat-laden sub sandwiches which are served throughout New Orleans.

A Vegetarian & Cooking! original.

-1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
-3 tablespoons capers
-1.5 tablespoons olive oil 
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-1 clove garlic
-salt and pepper

-Six slider buns
-4 small roasted red bell peppers
-4 ounces marinated artichokes
-Shredded mozzarella
-6 slices tomato
-8 fresh basil leaves, torn
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

As you can see, I skimped a little on my olive tapenade. I love that briny, vinegary flavor, but I underestimated how  many olives were left in the jar in the fridge.

To make the tapenade, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and then set aside to let the flavors marinate together.

Combine the marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, basil, garlic and balsamic vinegar in another bowl and set aside.

Add the mozzarella to the slider buns and toast until the cheese is melted. Build each sandwich with tomato, roasted red pepper mixture and tapenade on top.
I enjoyed this, but I would have liked it better with a little more brine (my fault entirely). Otherwise these had good flavor and it's always fun to eat sandwiches on slider buns. I find it preferable to eating them on full sized buns, because it's easier to keep all of the toppings from falling off.


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