Pan Bagnat on a Bun
Pan bagnat is a classic southern French sandwich, essentially the makings of a niçoise salad inside a baguette or a round, hard roll. I suggest adding a tomato in the summer, but at any time of year there are plenty of great foods that can be included. Instead of French bread, I make these on whole wheat hamburger rolls.
For the dressing:
- 1 garlic clove
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the salad mixture:
- 1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup grated carrot)
- 1/2 to 3/4 can water-packed tuna, drained
- 4 or 5 thin slices of cucumber
- A generous handful of lettuce, arugula, baby spinach or spring salad mix
- A few thin slices red or green pepper
- 1 slice red onion, soaked in cold water for five minutes, drained and rinsed (optional)
- A few leaves fresh basil, cut in thin strips
- 1/2 hard-cooked egg, sliced
- 1 whole wheat or whole wheat sesame hamburger bun
1. To make the dressing, puree the garlic with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. With a pestle or a small whisk, work in the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Add pepper and set aside.
2. Combine all of the salad ingredients except the hard-cooked egg in a bowl, and toss with the dressing until thoroughly coated. Pile half of this mixture onto the bottom half of the hamburger bun. Push it down, and arrange the slices of hard-cooked egg on top. Season if you wish with salt and pepper, then pile the remaining salad on top of the eggs. It will look like a lot, but it will compress. Cover with the top bun, press down and wrap tightly in plastic. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or for several hours in the refrigerator, before cutting in half. Wrap the half you don’t eat tightly, and refrigerate.
Note: In season, add 1 small tomato, sliced, to the mix. You can mix it with the salad, or layer the slices over the egg.
Yield: Two servings.
Advance preparation: You can refrigerate the wrapped sandwich for up to two days.
Nutritional information per sandwich: 497 calories; 22 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 141 milligrams cholesterol; 43 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 856 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 33 grams protein.