My new issue of Bon Appetit tells me that sandwiches are trendy right now. The article spotlights some of the great sandwich places around the country. One of them is in Austin (Noble Sandwich Company, formerly the Noble Pig), so I might be taking a little jaunt up there to try that one.
Meanwhile, I thought I’d make one of my two favorite sandwiches for lunch today. It’s called Pan Bagnat. For this recipe, you need some good French bread (I used French rolls today), oil-packed tuna, lemon juice, sweet onion, brine-cured olives, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil.
Mix up the filling ingredients, slice the bread lengthwise and pull out a little of the insides, and brush them with olive oil. Then layer the fresh basil over the bottom, and pile on the filling.Top with the top of the bread, wrap with plastic wrap, and lay them out on a baking pan. Cover with another pan, and top with weights. I used these cans. Larry is so used to me cooking things which seem strange to him, he hardly seemed bothered when he calmly asked me what I was planning to do with four cans of tuna and enchilada sauce. I guess I really can’t shock him anymore.
Anyway, after the sandwiches are weighted down for about 20 minutes, the juices from the filling have seeped into the bread, making it extra yummy. Later in the summer, I’m going to make this again, after my basil plant has had time to grow a bit. I like a bit more basil in them, but I didn’t want to denude the poor plant.
1 1-pound loaf unsliced French bread, about 14 inches long
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 6-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil, undrained
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted assorted brine-cured olives
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Slice bread in half lengthwise. Using hands, remove interior of loaf, leaving 3/4 inch shell. Brush interior of both halves with olive oil and line with basil leaves in single layer.
Combine undrained tuna, tomatoes, olives, onion, and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon salad evenly into bottom bread shell. Cover with top half and wrap tightly with plastic. Place in shallow baking pan; top with another baking pan and weight with heavy cans. Let stand 20 minutes.