Pan Bagnat, or “Bathed Bread,” is the Mediterranean’s Version of a fast-food sandwich that you might buy at a Provençal food truck or beach side stand. Add a little American grilling to the mix, and you have a standout sandwich. Pan bagnat consists of crusty hard rolls or large baguettes doused with vinaigrette, piled high with summer vegetables, black olives, and tuna, and then pressed together so that all the juices permeate the sandwich. Grilled salmon fillet would also be delicious in this sandwich.
- Yield: 4 Sandwiches
- 1 large French baguette, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 (8-ounce) tuna steaks or salmon fillets
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup chopped grape tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped, pitted oil-cured black olives, such as niçoise
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
- Brush the cut sides of the baguettes, then the tuna steaks, with olive oil. Grill the baguette, cut-side down, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has good grill marks. Grill the tuna for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes. Flake the tuna with a fork into a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, tomatoes, olives, and basil. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the tuna and mix gently to combine.
- Spread the tuna mixture evenly over the bottom half of the bread, place the top half of the bread on top, and press down firmly on the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and place a heavy pan on top. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving and then cut into 4 pieces.