Pan Bagnat. This sandwich is close to my heart, I used to make it years ago in the summer months. It's perfect to prepare when tomatoes are ripe and bursting with fresh flavour. Originating from Nice, France pan bagnat encloses the flavours of Salade Nicoise. The original version I used to make included hard boiled egg. I've replaced the egg with smashed white beans seasoned with kala namak. Kala Namak is a sulpheric sea salt which provides an eggy taste to whatever you sprinkle it on. To be honest in this context I'm not sure you can tell there isn't actually egg in the sandwich.
Pan Bagnat translates to "bathed bread", which, if you bare with me for a moment, is exactly the point. This sandwich has tomatoes, onion, shaved fennel, olives, white beans & basil. The veg is all dressed with a red wine vinegar and olive oil based vinaigrette. The idea is to drizzle additional olive oil all over both sides of a split baguette that has bread torn from the middle to hollow it out. Then you add the juicy vinaigrette dressed veg (don't avoid the liquid, ADD the liquid) and other ingredients (basil, olives). The bread soaks up all the juices. The result is a gorgeous flavourful marinated type sandwich. Baguette is really chewy so allowing the moisture to soak in not only makes for the best flavour, it makes it easier to eat too.
This recipe makes enough to dress 1 standard size baguette that you get at the supermarket. I get 3 sandwiches out of it. You could do 4 if you want them a bit smaller.
Smashed White Beans
Tomato, Fennel, Red Onion:
Whisk together following ingredients:
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