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Pan Bagnat with Fennel

Pan Bagnat with Fennel

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This sandwich gets better and better the longer it sits (okay, to a point); assemble it after breakfast and eat it when you’ve worked up an appetite.


Fennel and Olives

  • ½ fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mixed pitted olives, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped drained capers
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 Persian or ¼ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 6.7-ounce cans olive oil–packed tuna, drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-inch-long ciabatta loaf, halved lengthwise
  • 3 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled, sliced

Recipe Preparation

Fennel and Olives

  • Toss fennel, olives, oil, vinegar, capers, and red pepper flakes in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag; season with salt and pepper.

  • Do Ahead: Fennel-olive mixture can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.


  • Toss fennel-olive mixture with cucumber and tuna in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let sit, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.

  • Scoop out inside from top half of bread; discard (or save for a snack!). Layer bottom half of bread with tuna mixture, then top with eggs and arugula. Close up sandwich.

  • Place a large heavy skillet or pot on top of sandwich to weigh down and let sit at room temperature, turning once, until evenly pressed, about 2 hours (if making sandwich at home, or storing in a cooler while you hike, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap before you press it).

  • Slice pan bagnat into wedges just before serving.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 560 Fat (g) 29 Saturated Fat (g) 5 Cholesterol (mg) 155 Carbohydrates (g) 37 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 39 Sodium (mg) 1070Reviews Section

Monaco Non-GP 2020: Vegetarian Pan Bagnat

This will be the first year in which the Monaco Grand Prix will not be held since 1955. This is a year of changed expectations, working with what we’ve got, and of finding joy in new ways. I am personally finding joy in baking, catching up on my reading list, and catching up on this blog!

If you haven’t made fresh baguettes, it is a fun afternoon project, this was my first attempt and I was pleased with the results. I immediately went online to buy a baker’s lame because a knife simply did not work to slash the tops of the loaves. Other than that, they were tasty and worked perfectly for this meal.

Trust King Arthur Flour to give you some good recipes and advice on all things bread!

This vegetarian version of the classic French sandwich has chickpeas and fennel accompanying the standard ingredients of olives, capers, parsley and vinaigrette. It is hearty while still having a light tangy taste. Definitely a great summer meal!

We served the pan bagnat with two salads from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table including a Lime and Honey Beet Salad which was lovely and a Minted Zucchini “Tagliatelle” salad, which you can find the recipe for on Epicurious posted by Dorie herself.


For this sandwich or any recipe where tuna isn't doused in mayo or baked with noodles, it's worth splurging on a high-quality, imported brand. (One we love: Conservas Ortiz, a Spanish tuna available at specialty stores such as Whole Foods or online.) This kind of tuna is line-caught, delicately poached and hand-packed in olive oil so it stays firm and flakes beautifully. The oil keeps the fish moist and silky and adds a rich, almost buttery flavor. You could even use the olive oil from the can to bathe your bread in Step 1 of the recipe---it's that good.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes

  1. In a food processor, combine the aioli/mayo, crème fraîche, basil, and half the lemon zest and juice and process for about 20 seconds, or until the basil is coarsely chopped but not pureed. Season the basil mayonnaise to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, gently fold the tuna, olives, capers, and the remaining lemon zest and juice to combine, keeping the tuna in large chunks as much as possible.
  3. Lay the ciabatta cut side up on a cutting board and spread the basil mayonnaise over both pieces. Scatter the arugula and radicchio over the bottom piece. Lay the slices of egg atop the lettuces and follow with the tuna mixture, cucumbers, and onion. Top with the other piece of bread.
  4. Cut into 4 sandwiches and serve.


Serves: Makes 2 Cups
Prep Time: 10 Minutes

  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, dijon, lemon juice, and egg yolks and process until smooth.
  2. With the motor running, slowly add the oils, processing until the mixture is emulsified and creamy. Add enough water to thin the aïoli to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.

Roasted Beet Dip:

Makes: 3 Cups
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In an 8-inch square baking dish, toss the beets with the olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup water and cover the pan tightly with foil. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Allow the beets to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Using paper towels, rub the beets to remove their skins (the skins will slip right off). Cut enough of the beets into about 1/4-inch dice to measure 1 cup reserve the trimmings. Set the diced beets aside.
  4. Quarter the remaining beets and combine in a food processor with the beet trimmings and garlic and process until finely chopped. Add the yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, and lemon juice and blend to a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and fold in the diced beets.

To serve, transfer the beet dip to a serving bowl and sprinkle some of the dukkah evenly over it. Serve the flatbreads and remaining dukkah alongside for dipping.


Makes: 1 1/2 Cups
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes


Franklin Canyon Park, a sprawling wilderness in the Santa Monica Mountains high over Beverly Hills, is one of L.A.'s best-kept secrets -- a place to hike, to read in the shade, to relax -- a place, perchance, to picnic.

A Mercedes SUV pulls up at road’s end next to an open field framed by lazy sycamores and California live oaks. Out jumps Alain Giraud, L.A.'s leading French chef (and until recently the chef at Bastide), followed by his wife, Catherine. They start unloading, lifting tables, coolers, ice buckets, cartons of plates and silverware over the fence. Baskets of food, piles of table linens, throw pillows, bunches of sunflowers and lavender. Hats, more tables, long baguettes, more baskets of food and a couple of big canvas folding chairs.

“Pour les grand-meres!” says Catherine -- for the grandmothers! “We never travel light.” No, indeed -- at least not when they picnic. For picnicking is something like a religion to the Giraud family.

Not surprisingly, 45-year-old Alain Giraud has very particular ideas about the way a picnic should be. The food must be set up on tables, as a buffet, and then to eat it, you must sit on blankets on the grass. “It’s a hybrid,” he says, “a picnic-buffet. It’s to be outside and be in a place where the kids can run and play and bring the dog.” In the Girauds’ case, that would be Olivia, a bouncy English sheepdog. If it weren’t for the headband keeping Giraud’s thick, shaggy, prematurely silver hair out of his eyes, they’d look suspiciously similar.

And the food? “The essence of the picnic is to be simple,” Giraud philosophizes. “I think a good cheese is important. Good sandwich, and voila. Good company, a good day, a good river.” Well, eighty-six the river. “You’re outside, you’re cool, you’re having some food and boom -- where’s the foie gras?”

In the end, it’s that “where’s the foie gras?” moment that trumps simplicity.

Giraud has put together this particular picnic in honor of Bastille Day, the 14th of July. If it seems he has gone over the top with his six-course menu, believe it or not, to him this is simple. Each component is brilliant picnic food. Marinated Cavaillon melon balls served in their rind. A sandwich that’s like a nicoise salad in a roll and that actually improves by sitting overnight. Tomato-glazed veal paupiettes that are marvelous served cold. A tart that’s gorgeous yet sturdy enough to transport.

Preparations started the morning before, when Giraud shopped for food at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, filling his baskets with baby fennel, artichokes, radishes, melons, zucchini, tomatoes, goat cheese from Redwood Farm.

As the rest of the family finishes lunch in the garden of the Girauds’ Pico-Fairfax area home -- a 1920s Spanish house -- Giraud goes to work in the kitchen. He’s wearing baggy shorts his feet are bare.

Catherine comes inside, a worried look on her face, holding a plastic container.

“Alain, I thought this was potato puree,” she says in French, “and I put it in the microwave.”

Alain’s eyes widen, and he looks as though he might explode. “My frangipane!” he cries, taking it and peering inside. “How long did you zap it?”

“I don’t know -- not too long.”

He had prepared it the night before so he’d have it ready to use in the fig tart. After a stream of invective to which Catherine seems immune, Alain calms down. “No problem,” he says, “I’ll do it again.” Catherine slinks back outside. Alain continues examining the frangipane. Finally, he shrugs and turns his attention to the holiday at hand.

In France, he tells me, Bastille Day is not exactly a picnic op. “They just wheel a bar into the square,” he says. “Every village has a portable bar. And they start drinking. It’s not related to food. Zero. Nothing.”

OK, what happened on Bastille Day? “They attacked the Bastille. And they cut a lot of heads. So I thought alouettes sans tete. It’s a traditional Provencal dish, but it’s also a visual joke: veal paupiettes stuffed with sausage and mushrooms they look a bit like small birds, but without heads.

“When I was a kid, I was all the time intrigued,” he explains. “Is it a bird? It doesn’t have a head?” Though he’s never made the dish before, it occurred to him that it would be a fun thing to serve on Bastille Day. “It’s simmered in vin blanc,” he says, “but we’ll use Champagne. And tomato. And of course we’ll have to taste the Champagne.”

But first, he prepares the melons, which he bought from Weiser Family Farms, best-known for its fingerling potatoes. The Cavaillons, which are treasured in France for their sweet, cantaloupe-colored flesh, are each about the size of a grapefruit, and perfectly ripe at $1 apiece, they’re also a bargain.

Traditionally they’re served cut in half, the depression filled with either Port or some version of Muscat, a sweet white aperitif or dessert wine. Giraud uses a melon baller to scoop out the flesh, then he marinates the balls in Muscat de St. Jean de Minervois -- pouring from a bottle he carried from France on his last visit. He then replaces the balls back in the melons. “Basically,” says Giraud, “that’s how you have alcohol at the picnic.” For the kids, he sprinkles the melon balls only with sugar. He wraps them in plastic film and stashes them in the fridge.

Then the paupiettes. He sautes shallots and diced criminis in a cast-iron skillet (“the best thing made in America”), then adds garlic and parsley. After it cools, he scrapes raw sausage into a bowl, adds the mushrooms and some thyme.

He pulls out his industrial-sized roll of plastic film -- Giraud is a real plastic film fan. He places a scaloppine between two sheets of it and pounds the veal thin using the bottom of a heavy pot. After he works his way through them, he’s ready for some help. He spoons some sausage filling onto a scaloppine, folds both sides in, then rolls it up. Next he ties it up, using a tricky chef knot. Can I handle that? I think so. Amazing how perfectionistic a chef can be about, well, picnic food.

Same with the construction of the pan-bagnats. These are juicy sandwiches you make ahead of time, then wrap tightly in plastic so the juices permeate the bread -- pan-bagnat means pain mouille -- “soaked bread” in Nicois dialect. Giraud remembers eating these growing up. “The trucks in St. Tropez by the beach sell pan-bagnats,” he says. “It’s very typical of the south.” For the bread, Giraud settled on focaccia rolls from Il Fornaio. “They’re soft,” he says, pinching them lightly between his fingers, “but not too soft.”

Meanwhile, the paupiettes are simmering. After browning them, he deglazed the pan with the Champagne, then added strained tomatoes. The chef takes a moment to ponder where he’ll set up his sandwich assembly line, then clears a spot. He gathers the pan-bagnat ingredients.

For some reason, he trusts me to slice the rolls in half, but he can’t help stealing a glance to see whether I’m doing it correctly. This is just a chef being a chef. Giraud, in fact, enjoys the reputation of being a chef whom cooks love to work with. While I slice, he carves an artichoke down to the crown, which he slices paper-thin on a plastic mandoline.

He makes a charming little salad of the shaved artichokes and fennel, dressed with lemon juice, fleur de sel and black pepper. Shaved spring onions and radishes make another little salad. Then the quail eggs go in to boil (it’s fine to use regular eggs).

Giraud slices ripe tomatoes. “I don’t want to buy the heirlooms,” he says, “they don’t have too much juice.” Everything’s ready for assembly: tapenade from Trader Joe’s, $14 Italian tuna packed in olive oil. Tapenade is spread on the tops of the buns his best olive oil gets drizzled on the bottom. He layers tomato slices, then sprinkles fleur de sel, “for the juice.” Then the artichoke salad, tuna, anchovies, radish-onion salad, quail egg halves and a drizzle of oil from the tuna. He places the top of the roll on top. “Schmuga!” shouts Giraud, pushing it down.

Wrapping these is an art in itself Giraud demonstrates. The sandwich goes in the center of a length of plastic film. Roll the thing up -- tightly. Holding by the excess plastic on each side, twirl tightly until the ends are like ropes. Wrap the ends around either side, and then wrap tightly in aluminum foil.

The fig tart, of course, is still at issue. Giraud makes a new frangipane, beating together butter, sugar and eggs, then adding almond meal and flour. He thinks he can rescue some of the microwaved first effort. He spoons a little into the mixer bowl, peers in, tastes. “If I were the pastry chef, I’d be dead!”

But no harm is done. After wrestling with a very soft dough for the crust (the big roll of plastic film again saves the day, since he can roll it out between large sheets) he halves the figs, then decides it’ll be prettier if he quarters them. “I’m king of the figs,” he says.

Next day, at the picnic, the spread is magnificent, very Provencal. The food is arranged on a table covered with a dappled green cloth the cheese is displayed on the perfect straw tray. And no paper plates for this family: A meal this wonderful deserves ceramic dishes in shades of mustard and olive green and stainless flatware rolled up in cloth napkins.

The Girauds’ two children -- 13-year-old Camille and Antonin, who will be 12 in a few days -- and friends excitedly help themselves.

Alain uses an outsized pocket knife to carve the saucisson Catherine recently smuggled from Lyon. Everyone loves the Cavaillons, even as we wonder, for an uncomfortable minute, whether the kids got the ones without the alcohol. Alain surreptitiously fills our glasses with more of the Muscat. The alouettes are a smash, the pan-bagnat juicy and wonderful. The kids drink sparkling pink lemonade we drink rose -- who’s to know? And anyway, who can appreciate cheese without wine?

Then Giraud slices the beautiful fig tart. We pick it up and eat it with our hands. The fabulous frangipane melts into the almondy crust. The figs -- the first black missions of the season -- are bursting with flavor. It’s a spectacular finish: Giraud really is the king of the figs.

Campfire Recipes – Pan Bagnat

This recipe is pretty high brow for the foods I normally would make. I stumbled on the recipe and gave it a try. All I can say is WoW! Just give this Pan Bagnat with Fennel a try before you say no way.

Pan Bagnat With Fennel

This sandwich gets better and better the longer it sits (okay, to a point) assemble it after breakfast and eat it when you’ve worked up an appetite.



  • ½ fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mixed pitted olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped drained capers
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 Persian or ¼ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 6.7-ounce cans olive oil-packed tuna, drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-inch-long ciabatta loaf, halved lengthwise
  • 3 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled, sliced
  • 2 cups arugula

Fennel And Olives


Original Recipe by Chris Morocco Photograph by Kyle Johnson

Recipe Summary

  • 1 fennel bulb, halved and cut crosswise into very thin slices
  • 1 cup drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (from one 15-ounce can)
  • ⅓ cup black olives, such as Niçoise or Kalamata, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 large crusty rolls, split

In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the fennel, chickpeas, olives, capers, parsley, garlic, and tomato. Add the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper and toss.

Remove some of the soft center from each half roll, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Mound the filling onto the bottom of each roll. Drizzle any remaining juices over the filling. Cover with the top of each roll.

If you have time, wrap each roll tightly in aluminum foil and let sit for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Otherwise, press down on the rolls firmly so that the dressing moistens the bread.

Variations:: Other delicious ingredients to add to the sandwich include strips of raw green bell pepper or roasted red bell pepper, sliced hard-cooked egg, a small can of drained tuna, a few chopped anchovy fillets, or a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Wine Recommendation: Not only are rosé wines a perfect match for sandwiches, they're also delightful with foods highlighting the flavors of southern France. Try one from the region of Provence.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 pound young string beans or haricots verts
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup black oil-cured or Nicoise olives, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 six-and-one-half ounce cans tuna, drained
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed
  • Watercress Vinaigrette
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large, crusty rolls
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

In a bowl, combine beans, onion, fennel, tomatoes, pepper, olives, capers, tuna, and watercress with 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice open rolls, and scoop out some of the top halves. Brush remaining vinaigrette on insides of rolls. Pile salad mixture on bottom pieces, and top with egg slices. Cover with tops of rolls serve.

Chickpea pan bagnat

When I was in high school and we were finally allowed to go off-grounds for lunch, we often went to a local deli where my friends would get various sandwiches with turkey, salami, ham, or all of the above, plus, lettuce, tomato, onions, vinegar and oil and I, a vegetarian in a place baffled by this, would get a the same but with cheese instead. I have thought about this sandwich and what it did well — salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, crunch — and what it did poorly — a stack of tasteless sliced deli cheese as filler — for way too long in the years (and decades, sigh) since because I still love a sandwich full of vegetables, but find most vegetable sandwiches very disappointing, either heavy with cheese (and I love cheese, but not, like, an inch of it) or overcooked, under-seasoned vegetables. Why not avocado and crispy kale? Why not hummus, marinated cucumbers and carrots? Why not… make it for yourself, Deb? Which brings us, as ever, back here today.

The pan bagnat is a sandwich that is a specialty of Nice, France. The sandwich is composed of pain de campagne, a round whole wheat bread, and the filling is modeled after a classic salade niçoise. Here is where I’m supposed to tell you what’s in a classic niçoise, but I cannot because I fell in a deep Google rabbit hole and came out, hours later, still unsure because it turns out there’s a lot of argument. Tuna? Not a given just anchovies were in the original, apparently. Potatoes? Not traditional! Green beans? Truly only sometimes! Cucumber, apparently unacceptable. Soon comments will appear below from people who have had authentic niçoise salads with all of these things and telling me I really know nothing and it’s true! I only know that it’s a beautiful day outside and I want to focus on getting us out there, and the picnic sandwich we’ll take with us.

Here, I play off the idea of a niçoise salad filling, but with vegetarian swaps because I love a hearty sandwich full of vegetables now as much as I did in my teens. For anchovies, I use capers. For tuna, I use fork crushed, well-seasoned chickpeas, similar to what we use in my smashed chickpea salad. I keep the hard-boiled eggs but you can skip them to make it vegan. I could not get pain de campagne, so I used a baguette, but a ciabatta, which is flatter, would have been even better. I know capers, olives, and raw red onion are divisive and that’s okay, I want you to make this sandwich exactly the way you’d love it most. Do you have basil leaves? Add them if you love them. What is essential, however, is that every layer is well-seasoned and that you are not ungenerous with the olive oil. Bagnat literally means “wet,” referring to soaked bread, catching all of the deliciousness running off the ingredients. I can’t wait to see your spins on this I hope you get to go beautiful places together this holiday weekend.

Provençal Tuna Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)

Todd Coleman

When my husband and I acquired our farmhouse in Provence in 1984, our visits were generally limited to weekend getaways from Paris. For the train ride back to the city, a snack was essential, and pan bagnat, or “bathed bread,” the Provençal sandwich found at every bakery and market in the region, became our standby. It’s inexpensive, travels well, and includes many of our favorite Provençal ingredients: tomatoes, local bell peppers, black niçoise olives, anchovies and tuna, salt, and pepper—a salade niçoise, effectively, between slices of crusty bread. I’d prepare the sandwiches on Saturday, scooping out some of the crumb of the bread, then letting the pan bagnat marinate, tightly wrapped and weighted down in the refrigerator, until departure time the next day, which always made for moist and satisfying sandwiches. —Patricia Wells, author of Salad as a Meal (William Morrow, 2011)

Provençal Tuna Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)

Watch the video: Pan Bagnat - Tuna French Sandwich - Food Wishes (May 2022).