So what is it that makes this French sandwich so popular then?
Well that has got to do with the ingredients that go into it.
Let’s take a look at what we got here.
Crispy lettuce, flakey canned tuna, black olives, hard boiled eggs, ripe tomatoes and chopped onion. I even added a couple of boiled green beans to my sandwich as well. So do all these things together ring a bell somewhere?
Because you can say it clearly resembles a salad nicoise! However not on a plate as a a salad, but in a bread bun! Everything that goes into this bun you will also find more or less in that classic French salad too.
What a lovely idea!
Pan Bagnat (French Sandwich)
So what’s so special about this one then?
Well let’s dissect the name of this sandwich first. Pan, obviously that means ’bread’. Bagnat comes from the French bain (bath) or baigner, which means taking a bath or being soaked. Can you already see what I’m heading for?
So it literally means soaked bread, or sandwich.
Apart from the salade nicoise ingredients and stuffing, the major ingredient here is also olive oil. Which you have to pour generously on the sliced bread bun first. Traditionally once you have assembled the bun, you should leave it to rest and soak for a couple of hours. Just until the olive oil is literally soaked into the bread.
That reminds me a bit of a similar technique, but then with a Greek rusk sandwich by the name of ntakos.
There you go.
- 2 medium bread buns
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce
- 5,5 oz canned tuna (155 g), drained weight
- 6 medium black olives
- 2 medium hard-boiled eggs peeled
- 8 small cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 tbsp red onion chopped
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove peeled
- 6 canned anchovy fillets in oil
Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped red onion, garlic paste, chopped chives and some pepper and salt.
Stir well until you get a nice marinade. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or vinegar to taste. Then put the marinade aside until needed later. Crumble the tuna using a fork.
- Slice the black olives and hard-boiled eggs up.
- Then slice the bread buns in half and rub them on the inside with the peeled garlic clove.
- Then grill the buns for a couple of minutes under a hot grill until a little crisp and golden. Keep an eye on them! Once that is done, then spread a little of the olive oil marinade on both sides of the buns.
Season with a little sprinkle of pepper and salt. Top with the green lettuce, the sliced tomatoes, chopped red onion, the flaked tuna, the sliced eggs, sliced black olives and then the salted anchovy fillets.
- Sprinkle with extra pepper and the rest of the olive oil marinade. Close the buns up (they are traditionally left to marinate for a couple of hours wrapped in cling film until soaked through) and serve.