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Pan Bagnat is a typical sandwich from Nice, the name means wet bread.
Larousse Gastronomique, which is the bible for the French cuisine, suggests that the Pan Bagnat originate from the salad nicoise served on stale bread.
Why stale bread
In Italy, many of the stale bread recipes originate from fishermen or shepherds who would spend many days away at sea or in the fileds and couldn’t get fresh bread.
The stale bread had to be wet to become soft again, so the Pan Bagnat is originally wet with the juice from the tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil
The rest of the ingredients are typical of the region: tuna, anchovies, olives and seasonal fresh vegetables like cucumbers, onions, radishes, peppers and celery.
Pan Bagnat is very common here in the region, not only as a street food sandwich but also served as a starter, at buffets and even at Michelin Star restaurants.
Full of fresh vegetables and fish, the Pan Bagnat is a very healthy meal and I often make it for the boys’ school lunch.
I prepare the ingredients the day before and compose the bread in the morning before they leave for school.
Although, I don’t use stale bread. I always have a reserve of frozen french bread. It takes 10 minutes to defrost in the oven and it is as nice as fresh.
To slice all my vegetables I use the KitchenAid MVSA Rotor Vegetable Slicer and Shredder . (Amzon affiliate link) I keep them in the fridge in plastic containers and use them the next day.
The Pan Bagnat recipe is featured in episode 2 of the video series:
Each Sunday at 10:00 AM I will publish a video featuring a place to visit, a restaurant and a recipe.
Next week we are going to Antibes, so don’t miss it.
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You can watch the Pan Bagnat video here below:
- 1 loaf Sourdough bread (French bread)
- 2 boiled eggs
- 1 can tuna preserved in olive oil (I buy it in the glass container)
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 stalks celery (finely sliced)
- 1/4 cup sliced radishes
- 1/4 sliced red onions
- 1/2 pepper sliced
- 4 anchovies preserved in salt (cleaned and deboned)
- 10 olives nicoise (deboned)
- 5 leaves basil
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red vinegar
- Prepare all the ingredients: debone the olives, clean and debone the anchovies, drain the tuna from the oil, boil the eggs and cut them into slices
- Slice all the vegetables and cut the tomatoes collecting all the juice
- Cut the bread in half and remove the inside of the bread from both halves.
- Sprinkle both sides with abundant extra virgin olive oil
- Pour over the bread the juice from the tomatoes
- First, lay over the bread the slices of the tomatoes
- The lay the rest of the vegetables
- Continue with the rest of the ingredients: tuna, anchovies, eggs, olives and basil
- Sprinkle with the red vinegar
- Cover with the top of the bread and cut into 8 portions to serve