Magazine article Sunset

A French Sandwich Changes Shape

Magazine article Sunset

A French Sandwich Changes Shape

Article excerpt

Settling in for our picnic under a cool canopy of trees on a sun-parched hillside in the south of France, Francoise Kirkman pops baton-shaped packets into our hands. "Pan bagnat," she says. "The sandwiches you saw yesterday in Nice." Then she adds that pan means bread, and bagnat is bath. Traditionally, you split open a round crusty roll, bathe it with an olive oil and herb dressing, and fill it with nicoise salad ingredients. "But the baker had no rolls, so I used baguettes."

No harm done, we concurred as we relished the baguettes. Even though the loaves were saturated by the essences of tuna, tomato, anchovy, egg, and garlic, the bread stayed firm and the length of the baguettes gave us a bonus of crisp crust. Kirkman had applied the oil with a lighter hand than the French typically do, but her version was equal ill flavor. Nor did she stop with just one filling: her are well worth trying.

Baguette Bagnat

Prep time: About 25 minutes Notes: Choose from filling that follows. Makes: 2 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 1 clove garlic, minced 1 baguette (8 oz.) Nicoise, tomato, or Greek salad (recipes follow) Salt

1. Mix oil, vinegar, parsley, pepper, thyme, and garlic. Cut baguette in half crosswise, then cut each portion in half lengthwise, making the bottom of the baguette slightly thicker Pull out soft interior (save for another use) to make bread shells about 1/2 inch thick. Brush interior of shells with 1/2 the dressing. …

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