Pan Bagnat With Tuna
Marinated sandwiches—like this Provençal classic that translates to “bathed bread”—are some of the most beautiful sandwiches you’ve ever seen, and ideal for picnics: The longer they sit (within reason), the better they get. View this recipe as a general guideline; you can make the sandwich with whatever cooked food you have on hand, including leftover grilled fish or meat and leftover vegetables. Then dress it as described here.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour, plus time to rest overnight
1 medium zucchini, summer squash, or eggplant
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for brushing the vegetables, plus more for drizzling as needed
2 red bell peppers, or 2 jarred roasted red peppers
One 8- to 10-inch round loaf crusty bread
Two 5- to 6-ounce cans tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), not drained
1 teaspoon drained capers, or more to taste
6 to 8 pitted black or green olives
4 to 6 anchovy fillets, or more to taste
4 marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
2 or 3 slices ripe tomato
Chopped fresh parsley or basil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. If time allows, put it in a colander and salt liberally; let sit for 30 to 45 minutes, then rinse and dry thoroughly, pressing to extract excess moisture. Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium indirect cooking (make sure the grates are clean) or turn on the broiler and position the rack about 4 inches below the heat.
2. Brush the zucchini with some olive oil and grill or broil until lightly browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Grill or broil the red bell peppers until the skin blackens and blisters all around, about 5 minutes total. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel, core, and seed them; cut into strips. If you’re using jarred peppers, drain and rinse them, and cut them into strips.
3. Cut the bread in half horizontally. Remove some of the crumb from each half to make the bread somewhat hollow. Then build the sandwich by first layering on the tuna and enough of its oil to moisten the bread without saturating. Follow with the bell pepper, zucchini, capers, olives, anchovies, artichoke hearts, tomato, and parsley or basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle the filling and the inside of the top piece of bread with enough of the remaining tuna oil (or some olive oil) to just moisten everything; sprinkle with lemon juice.
4. Close the sandwich; wrap well in aluminum foil. Put it on a plate, set another plate on top, and weight the second plate with rocks, bricks, a gallon jug of water—whatever is handy. Use a lot of weight, 5 pounds or more. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours. Unwrap, cut into wedges, and serve.
Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised 20th Anniversary Edition | Photo: Aya Brackett