Pan Bagnat is an obscure sandwich available at a couple of restaurants locally on their luncheon menus. The versions are quite different and both delicious. One version was truly exceptional, so much so that the first time I ate it I licked my fingers with joy. Although the original at the restaurant was made with seared Albacore tuna, the day I recreated it the fish monger did not have Albacore available. I purchased Ahi tuna instead. This sandwich is wonderful for lunch or a luncheon when you have guests or a dinner sandwich made decadent with a side of French fries.
A word about baguettes. Purchase a light weight, crispy fresh baguette for this sandwich. A more Italian or rustic style loaf with a heavier, chewy, crumb will over shadow the filling and make the sandwich more cumbersome to eat
For two Pan Bagnat;
12 ounces of fresh Albacore Tuna (Ahi will do)
16 inches of crunchy French baguettte
4 tablespoons of basil pesto
4 tablespoons of olive tapenade
1 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled and seeded
4 medium cooked eggs (hard boiled but only until the yolks are still creamy soft)
4 anchovy filets (canned) (optional if you don’t like anchovies)
2 cups of baby lettuce or mesclun mix
Olive oil for drizzling
Sear the Albacore on a hot grill or non stick pan until it has a bit of crust but is till bright pink or pale pink depending on the fish. The fish should be rare. Cut the baguette lengthwise and place on your work surface. Spread the herb pesto down one side of the bread and tapenade down the other.
Slice the seared Albacore on an angle in thin ¼ inch thick slices. Fan them down the length of one side of the bread. Cut the red pepper in about 6 pieces. Place them on the other side of the baguette and then add the peeled eggs that you have cut in slices. Place the lettuce in the sandwich, the anchovies and drizzle with olive oil. Place the lettuce in the sandwich and you are ready to serve.
Close the sandwich. Slice the sandwich in half and serve.
12 large leaves or around 2 cups of loose pack basl leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesano Reggiano
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor. Pulse until it forms a chunky puree orpaste.
For the Tapenade;
1 cup pitted mixed green and kalamata olives
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 roasted garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
Place all of the ingredients in a small food processor. Pulse until finely minced.