Salade niçoise served on bread: greater than the sum of its parts…
This classic Provençal sandwich, which means “soaked bread” in the ancient Nice dialect, is nothing more than a Salade Niçoise served between two pieces of bread. In the old days it was considered to be a humble food, made with ingredients that every household would have on hand.
The quintessential summer sandwich!
But today Pan Bagnat is fashionable fare. And for good reason: it makes an extraordinarily delicious and satisfying meal. In my version, the grilled peppers add a bit of depth to this simple sandwich, and the basil vinaigrette soaks the whole thing with its ambrosial fragrance. It’s the quintessential summer sandwich!
Food & wine pairing: Naoussa, Xinomavro with pan bagnat
How about trying something unusual: a Xinomavro from Naoussa (Greece), like the Thimiopoulos Vineyards, “Uranos” Xinomavro? These powerful wines have complex aromas of dark fruit, tobacco, earth, black olives and sometimes a hint of pepper – all of which harmonize beautifully with the flavors of this sandwich. Of course, you can always serve a Côte du Rhône – this is the wine you’d be served with a Pan Bagnat if you were to order one in a Provençal restaurant.
Pan bagnat with grilled peppers and basil vinaigrette
active time: 40 min
For the peppers
- 2 large red bell peppers – quartered; stems, seeds and veins removed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the vinaigrette
- 12 large basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove – peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the sandwich
- 1/3 cup pitted Niçoise or Kalamata olives – coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers – drained and finely chopped
- 4 baguette or ciabatta rolls
- 4 scallions – white and pale green parts cut in 1/8″ slices (1/2 cup)
- 4 hard boiled eggs – shelled and cut in 1/4″ slices
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes – cut in 1/4″ slices
- 1/2 seedless cucumber – cut in 1/8″ slices (use a mandoline)
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Step 1: Brush the peppers with olive oil and set aside on a tray. When the grill is ready, place peppers directly on the grill, cut side up, and grill until charred, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn peppers over and grill until well charred, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a tray and set aside. (Alternatively, you can roast the peppers under the broiler using the same directions.)
- Step 2: To make the vinaigrette – Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until basil is very finely chopped and vinaigrette is smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Step 3: In a small bowl, mix the olives and capers. Set aside. Cut rolls in half. Lightly toast cut side on the grill or under broiler. Drizzle both sides of the rolls with two thirds of the vinaigrette to soak the bread. Top the bottom half of each roll with the grilled peppers, olive/caper mixture, scallions and egg slices. Drizzle with the balance of the vinaigrette. Top with the tomato and cucumber slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Finish with the top sides of the rolls, press slightly with your hand, and cut sandwiches in half. Serve with a leafy green salad with mustard vinaigrette.
What a gorgeous classic sandwich! Wish I could sink my teeth into this beauty!
Fabulous idea!!!! Ideas like this is why I absolutely love summer and all it’s awesome produce!
Thank you, Mj!
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What a great sandwich! I will definitely try that at home! 🙂
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Tried this recipe this week. It was so tasty! And pretty messy to eat. Maybe we’re just slobs here but we really did enjoy all the flavors. Thank you for sharing.
Keri! I forgot to mention how messy it is to eat these sandwiches… it’s not you! Somehow all the dribbles make it more fun and more delicious. Very glad you enjoyed it!
Ooo, the mess would be half the fun – as long as there was another with you getting equally messy! I’ve never made these but must try this coming summer – I’d add anchovies as I love their flavour!
I’ve been hearing so much about pan bagnat lately, and it looks wonderful! I love the addition of the basil vinaigrette – this is a must try!
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The color alone looks yummy ! I can’t wait to try this one . mmm
deliciously done looks colourful
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I’m making this for lunch. Have a happy 4th!
This sandwich is well photographed and tantalizing!
Fresh goodness in a bun! I’ve made traditional Pan Bagnat with tuna (in oil as used in Provence) but I love your beautiful vegetarian version.
SO PRETTY! Congrats on making Top 9!!!
Thank you so much Tiffany – I’m really grateful for your comment because I had no idea I made it to Top 9 today! You’re the best.
Oh, that bread soaked in your basil vinaigrette looks amazing! Lovely sandwich for a hot summer’s eve!
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So gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat… almost!
Beautiful sandwich. I love the idea of adding the olives. Scrumptious.
your pics are beautiful and your sandwich looks delicious. Nice touch with the grilled peppers!
This is such a pretty version of a pan bagnat! And, now I’m going to have to find one to have for lunch because I’ll be craving this sandwich all morning.
Oooooh, this looks SO tasty! Yum. 🙂