It’s getting warm here in Virginia. Because of this I’m staying away from the oven. I like the idea of using my grill anyways. I came up with these delicious sliders because I wanted something with olives in it. Of course, traditional muffulettas are filled with non-paleo/Whole 30 ingredients. This version is safe for all- unless you can’t handle nightshades! Because I am doing whole 30- I’m being more careful about what I add into my meals and there aren’t any compliant salami or ham options out there as far as I can tell. I used Applegate roasted turkey breast (the one from the deli counter at Whole Foods) and compliant prosciutto as a base for the meat. But if you are just going paleo then maybe you can find some ham or salami to add here. The choice is yours. I included the directions to make your own roasted red peppers. You can make these a day or two ahead of time.
Here is what you will need:
Olive tapenade- make your own or buy pre-made. (see below for ingredients and how to make your own)
1-2 large eggplants-depending on how many people you are feeding
lunch meat of choice-ham salami, prosciutto, turkey, etc.
Roasted red peppers- either canned or make them yourself (see below for method)
Fresh spinach leaves
Olive oil for drizzling
Make the roasted red peppers-I make 2-3 at a time:
1. Rinse the peppers well and pat dry
2. Grill them over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes turning occasionally until skins are blackened and peppers are softer.
3. Wrap the peppers in aluminum foil and let cool until you can handle them.
4. Peel peppers by rubbing away the blackened skin with your hands and remove the stem and seeds. Cut each pepper into 4-5 strips.
Make the grilled eggplant:
1. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds.
2. Sprinkle the slices with some kosher salt and place in a colander in the sink or over a bowl to drain for 15 minutes.
3. Rinse the slices of eggplant well then pat them dry.
4. Drizzle or brush each side of the eggplant with olive oil.
5. Grill slices over low heat until browned and cooked thoroughly.
While the eggplant is cooking, make the tapenade:
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1 1/2 teaspoons capers- drained
3-4 sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil- chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic- roughly chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you get a chunky spread. If you want a smoother paste just keep pulsing until you get the consistency you want.
Assemble your sliders:
1. Place one slice of eggplant at the bottom then add meat, roasted red peppers, spinach leaves, tapenade and another slice of grilled eggplant.
I think these taste great warm, room temperature, or even cold.
*Want to make it vegetarian? Make some additional grilled veggies to replace the meat. I like grilled portabella mushrooms and zucchini.