Pan bagnat is a large, overstuffed sandwich filled with tomatoes and other fresh vegetables, cheese, olives, and a vinaigrette dressing. In addition to or in place of the following, you may include watercress, finely chopped scallions, pieces of tuna, and chopped hard-cooked eggs.
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 small red onion, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 long large loaf French or Italian bread
1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small jar (6-1/2 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 cup grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped pitted Green or Italian olives
2 large Florida tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.
Slice off the top third of the bread lengthwise and set the top aside. Pull out the soft enter part of the bottom section, leaving a thickish crust shell. Spoon the dressing over the inside of the shell.
Layer the filling ingredients in the shell, ending with the tomatoes. Replace the top of the bread, then slice the sandwich into large pieces.
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
NOTE: This may also be made with individual hard rolls or a large loaf of round bread.