Tuesday, July 08, 2008


"You bought too much bread!" cried James at the weekend, as I was beginning the preparation of this dish. "Ah, but I have plans for the rest," said I.

Pan bagnat is originally a recipe of Nice and, in that part of the world, is understood to be a salade niçoise on hollowed-out bread. Historically, the process was reversed as the peasants used to put slices of rough-textured bread into the salad to soak up the juices and, one suspects, make it go further. Versions of pan bagnat / pan bagna are made all over the Mediterranean region but the only cookery writer I have read who suggests reusing the breadcrumbs in the filling is Elizabeth David. I like to do this and here is my own, Italianised recipe:

Cut day-old bread [a baguette or smaller crusty rolls] in half lengthwise. Scrape out the crumbs as best you can and put them aside. Make a vinaigrette from 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, some oregano and seasoning. Brush this generously onto the bottom part of the bread shells. Spread some crema bel paese [or similar soft cheese] on top of this and put some salad leaves on top of that. Then add some sliced tomatoes. Put the breadcrumbs in a procesor with a clove of garlic, a medium onion, some carrots, a red pepper, a couple of sticks of celery and a few stoned, black olives. Process until everything is very finely chopped. Put this mixture on top of the layers on the bread and drizzle over any remaining vinaigrette. Put the lids on the bread and wrap in foil. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. [Recipes state that you should put a weight on top but I have never found this necessary.] Serve and enjoy, having armed everyone with plenty of napkins, for this is a very oily sandwich!


CherryPie said...

It looks & sounds delicious as usual :-) Especially after my meal which turned into plan C!

Anonymous said...

I do this all the time without knowing what it was called ;)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, cherrypie. Come over and try some! Well done, maryann.

Maria said...

Welshcakes, You have done it again! My mouth is watering and I already ate dinner! LOL What am I going to do with you?

That not only looks delicious but I swear I could smell the vinagrette while I was reading your post!


When are you going to publish your book of recipies? Just thought I would ask, so I can be first in line to snatch it up! :)

Nunyaa said...

I'm sending an Air Express Doggy bag LOL or I shall make it myself, looks delicious!

jmb said...

Looks delicious as always,

Sean Jeating said...

Ah, just in time for second breakfast. :)

Trubes said...

Mmmm. That looks delicious Welshcakes, just going out to buy some suitable ingredients, that's solved our lunch menu !

We seem to run parallel lives (except for fish) when it comes to cuisine, I too have an Elizabeth David Cookbook.
Oh how I wish I could live on the 'Med', the climate just suits me. DT just won't hear of it though! It would be difficult to leave our family behind, as he says.
I.ve posted a soppy little yarn on my site, hope you'll pop over and
read it.

The weather is miserable here today....grey skies an windy...Yesterday was like living in the Sub Tropics...Monsoon like rain then sunshine.


flutterby said...

You just brought back some wonderful memories of eating Pan bagnat when I lived in the south of France. Nostalgia is so nice.

Whispering Walls said...

Maybe Garibaldi brought the recipe over from Nice

Anonymous said...

I am making beans on toast meself....

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

You are always so kind, M. Re. book of recipes - I'm trying!
Thanks, nunyaa. Simi is fascinated by the idea of an Air Express doggy bag!!
Jmb and Sean - grazie.
Hi, Trubes. You could always come and visit on th Med, you know! will be over to yours shortly. Love to you all xxx
Many thanks, flutterby. Agree about nostalgia.
WW - maybe he did at that.
Mutley, I could just do with some beans on toast myself. You have made me go truly nostalgic.

James Higham said...

Still looks yummy today and I'm off to polish off the filling in the bowl with the cling wrap over it. So if it's missing, you know where. ;)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Now I know, James!


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