Pan-Bagnat: A rather extravagant sandwich - 2 hours to prepare, but worth it!

>> Monday, 9 August 2010

Confession time! I saw this recipe in a magazine and decide I'd embark upon it for lunch. This decision was made at about 11 o'clock. I'm not one for reading recipes from start to finish before I start, and it was only when I started it, I realised it was more likely going to be ready for tea time rather than lunch!!

So, warning for you....should you wish to make this (and I highly recommend it), make it the day before you need it and fridge it until the chosen point!

The recipe is based on a french dish called Pan-Bagnat. It's essentially a hollowed out loaf, filled with roasted vegetables and cheese and pressed in the fridge for several hours. This allows the flavours and juices to be absorbed by the bread and sliced in lovely chunks for a healthy, tasty lunch-time meal.

It's a great picnic dish and I think best served for crowds, this much effort invested in a sandwich deserves to be shared!

The key ingredients here are a decent loaf (I favour a multi-grain one as I think it holds the shape better) and fresh vegetables. Don't follow the ingredients too slavishly - if there is something you don't like just swap it for more of something you do!

....feedahappylife's selection of vegetables....

...preferred bread...

Pan-Bagnat (serves 4)

  • 1 red pepper, quartered
  • 1 yellow pepper, quartered
  • 1 large courgette, sliced
  • 2 portabella mushrooms, halved
  • 1 aubergine, sliced length ways
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Handful basil leaves, torn
  • Large, round, crusty loaf
  • 3 tbsp caper puree (or olive tapenade or pesto)
  • 125g mozzarella, drained and sliced
  • Seasoning

Step 1: Place vegetables in a single layer, pour over a good glug of oil and grill for 10 minutes (turning half way through). You might need to do this a few times to get through all of the vegetables

Step 2: Make the dressing by mixing half the basil, a glug of oil, a glug of vinegar, seasoning and the crushed garlic in a large bowl. Stir together to combine and add the roasted vegetables to the boil and toss gently. Leave vegetables to cool.

Step 3: Slice of the bread 'lid' and remove all of the inner bread (leave a 1 cm shell). I keep the inner bread, shred and freeze for breadcrumbs for other dishes...

Step 4: Cover the inside of your bread with your choice of paste

Step 5: Take the cooled vegetables and squeeze them dry between sheets of kitchen roll (this is really important and will stop your bread going soggy). Slice the mushroom halves and put to one side.

Step 6: Layer up your cooled vegetables and press firmly into the bread. Alternative vegetables with mozzarella slices and torn basil leaves. Leave the mushrooms until last and add to the top.

Step 7: Place the lid back on the bread and wrap tightly in cling film. Place the bread between two plates and weight down with tins for two hours in the fridge

Step 8: Remove cling-film, cut into slices and serve

Hope you enjoy,
Helen x

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