Tuna Nicoise Pan Bagnat
A classic summer staple from southern France, this make-ahead sandwich allows the flavors to meld to perfection.
- 3/4 cup Niçoise olives, pitted
- 3 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 baguette
- 10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained
- 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced
- 1 tomato, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup thinly-sliced red onion
- 4-8 tender lettuce leaves (such as Bibb lettuce)
- Roughly chop the olives, capers and artichoke hearts. In a small bowl, mix them together with the lemon zest and juice, fresh thyme and one tablespoon of olive oil to make a tapenade. Set aside. Cut the baguette crosswise into 4 equal parts and slice each part in half lengthwise. Remove some of the crumb from interior to make a slight trough, then drizzle each piece with the remaining olive oil.
- To assemble the bagnat sandwiches, spread the bottom half of each baguette piece with 2 tablespoons of tapenade, add tuna chunks, and then top with the egg, tomato and red onion slices, lettuce and baguette top. Wrap the sandwiches tightly in plastic, weight them with a baking sheet or heavy skillet and let them stand for one hour before serving (or wrap and refrigerate overnight).
Pan bagnat literally translated is "wet bread"—the idea is for the oils to soak into and flavor the bread, making it a perfect brown-bag lunch solution. Substitute fresh basil for the lettuce, and cucumbers or roasted red peppers are a nice addition. Anchovy fillets are often added to this summery staple from southern France, or add one tablespoon of anchovy paste to the tapenade.
472 calories, 19 g. fat, 118 mg. cholesterol, 1180 mg. sodium, 43 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. fiber, 33 g. protein