Monday, June 15, 2009

Vive La Pan Bagnat!

Pan Bagnat (pahn bahn-YAHT) is our new favorite sandwich! This sandwich originates in Nice where it is offered every day for lunch in the bakeries and markets. It is a salade nicoise on bread so basically a French tuna sandwich. Not just any tuna sandwich, mind you, but the most amazingly delicious tuna sandwich in the world!

(DeLynne, did you eat pan bagnats on any of your travels to France? Did they use fresh grilled tuna? You know you are my 'go to' expert on all things gallic.)

Pan bagnats are so easy and fun to make. The process is very hands on so Talon loves to help.
First, we whisk up plenty of dijon vinaigrette. Then, prep all the ingredients for layering. Talon loves whisking, slicing eggs with the egg slicer, and of course, nibbling on his favorite ingredients.
The next step is digging out a well in both halves of our loaf of bread. Talon thinks that is great fun! Then we layer, pour on the vinaigrette, slap on the top, wrap tightly in foil and press.

We don't get to eat it till the next day but, boy, is it worth the wait! If you like sandwiches that have olive oil soaked yummily into the bread, a pan bagnat will make you plumb crazy! Yes, Torrey, I am thinking of you!

If you want to make a pan bagnat, here are the items you need for layering: canned tuna in olive oil, bell peppers sliced into rings, a sweet onion sliced into rings (we just use chives out of the garden), 2 boiled eggs sliced, black olives chopped, and a few capers. After you make a fairly deep well in both halves of your loaf, layer the above ingredients in the bottom half in the order listed.

We chose not to include tomatoes since we don't like them with tuna. If you do, by all means add them. Tomatoes would go on after the olives.

For the vinaigrette: Whisk together 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Gradually add 9 tablespoons of olive oil until an emulsion forms.

Don't forget to press and wrap it very tightly after pouring vinaigrette over all the layers. I found that it also helps to drizzle a little vinaigrette onto the well of the top half of bread before placing it on the sandwich.

My research indicates that the sandwich can stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving. My opinion is that it is safer to refrigerate it until you want to serve it. Like I said, we eat it the next day so the vinaigrette has had plenty of time to work its magic!

This sandwich has us hooked! I found a recipe that calls for fennel root and garbanzos that I want to try. Jim has requested an italian version with salami ect that I am going to work up with plenty of summer tomatoes.

Here is something I found odd: Salad nicoise always has green beans but I never found a pan bagnat recipe that included them. I love roasted green beans on a sandwich so I will definitely try adding them to my tuna pan bagnat this summer!

A pan bagnat provides both a spectacular presentation and a taste sensation!

Bon appetite!
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  1. Sounds good, why not make one?...just to be double sure...I will test it for you---yes, that's just how nice I am.

  2. This sounds great! I don't think I could prepare the bread and wait a whole day to eat it! Is this the beginning of your very own cookbook?

  3. I knew this would be right up your alley! Should taste pretty good after at least 2 hours--Could you hold out that long? Tell you what, next time you head to Ok, I will prepare one the day before your arrival. You know Jim urges (nags) me constantly to start working on a cookbook. Too much effort required for me--- but I have thought of a title or at least a catch phrase...

  4. Post the the Pad Thai next---I will be my usual helpfull self with the evaluation. I'm just sayin'..........

  5. Mama, I know that is you in anonymous guise and I know what you are thinking and, yes, it is possible to lop a lip over this sandwich...

  6. I do believe that the lop a lip over statement is a true Miller ism ha ha Not that I would know but does sound familiar from somewhere

  7. Okay, another unsigned comment---I'm going to guess that it is you Jerry. Good on you for figuring out how to leave a comment! Without a doubt, the Miller-isms have infected my lexicon. Jim intends to list them all in a dictionary sometime.

  8. Hi, Lesa! Or I should say, Bonjour! For all the time I spent in France, I was a vegetarian, and didn't eat fish. So I can't verify the authenticity of this recipe. My French Maman (may she rip) made the most devine sandwiches with eggs, mayonaise and dijon mustard. We would eat them by the camper van on the side of the road or a camp ground at the beach. OOH la la, cétait super!

  9. Bonjour! I'm going to add some dijon to egg salad-- sounds yummy! I do one with horseradish and bacon that is good too. I will post it sometime.


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