This recipe for my version of a classic Pan Bagnet includes extra ham and veggies as well as the traditional cheese, tomatoes and olives. The stuffed and pressed whole loaf of bread is ideal for sharing at a picnic on a warm summer’s day!
A Summer Garden Picnic
Yes, it may be hard to believe, but the weather today has been hot enough and sunny enough for this beast of a stuffed French sandwich, Pan Bagnat, to be enjoyed at the bottom of the garden, “pique nique” style!
Down we all trotted, with a wicker hamper, well why not, carrying tartan rugs and bottles of home-made elderflower presse, with “picnic” cutlery and plates.
The chickens looked on with interest and then with hope, as the large solo sandwich was unwrapped, and then placed on a wooden board….to be sliced and enjoyed.
Bees buzzed amongst my vivid blue borage flowers, which reminds me, I must collect some for salads and Pimm’s soon…..and the sun actually shone, with hardly any clouds in the sky…..it was an idyllic summer’s day in July.
And yes, we DID have a wee snooze on the tartan rug after our lunch, and it was so relaxing and a rare treat!
About Pan Bagnat
Now this is NOT a traditional recipe for a Pan Bagnat ~ in Nice in the South of France where this recipe originates, they tend to follow the salad Niçoise method and usually always have anchovies and tuna in the sandwich, as well as eggs too.
The literal translation of Pan Bagnat is from the Provençal dialect of Niçard, and means “wet bread”.
It is often misspelled “pain bagnat” which, while correct in French, is not the spelling used in Niçard.
My Recipe for Pan Bagnat
Although I love the original recipe, I also like a few more veggies in mine, as well as a little ham too, so, this is my take on the classic Pan Bagnat with step-by-step photos of how I assembled it.
This wonderfully sumptuous French Picnic Sandwich can be made WELL in advance, in fact the night before is best.
Slice the sandwich before you go on your picnic if you wish, it is easier, or just take a wooden board and knife for slicing on location. You can also cut this into wedges too.
This makes a stunning centre piece summer luncheon dish, all you need is sunshine and wine, oh yes, and good company!
Variations and Leftovers
There weren’t many of us today, but that means more leftovers, and all you have to do is wrap this back up again and pop it into the fridge, it will last another day and although the bread will be “wetter”, it will still be amazingly tasty.
And what if there aren’t enough of you to warrant making a big brute of a sarnie like this? Well, I have made this recipe in INDIVIDUAL Ciabatta rolls, and they were just as delicious as their bigger cousin, and VERY portable for the school or work packed lunch.
Oh yes, vegetarians need not be scared of this bold sandwich, as you can make this “sans ham” for a veggie feast!
This recipe is part of my Meal Plan that I posted on Monday……and as it has a liberal dose of Fresh Basil in it, I am also entering it into my Herbs on Saturday challenge, which is being guest hosted by Vanesther over at Bangers and Mash this month.
If you’d like to see the round-up of last month’s Herbs on Saturday recipes, and there were some WONDERFUL ones, the round-up is posted here: Herbs on Saturday June Round-Up.
That’s it for today, I have CHOCOLATE and CHICKEN as well as CAKES on the blog tomorrow….it’s a BUSY day! Karen.
Step By Step Instructions
You’ll find the full and printable recipe at the end of this post.
- First ~ cut the top of the bread, as seen in the photos, about 2″, and scoop all of the inside of the bread loaf ~ leaving a 1/2″ shell; crumble the bread between your fingers or in a food processor and freeze as breadcrumbs for cooking later.
- Next, brush the inside of the bread shell and underneath the lid with the olive oil.
- Then the fun begins, you start to layer your sandwich ~ now, this is NOT written in stone, but these are the layers I prefer, for texture and flavour mingling! First, you place three of your roasted red peppers in the bottom of the shell, I had to cut mine into halves to fit them in snugly.
- Then add the sliced red onions…..
- ………and then some torn basil leaves
- and then the olives ~ I cut my olives into slices, so they squash down better and don’t fall out when the loaf is cut!
- Next is the Mozzarella cheese, push the slices into the corners as far as you can, tearing some if need be, so they all fit snugly into the bread shell.
- Now we add the first layer of fresh sliced tomatoes, season them well with salt and black pepper too……
- Scatter a few more basil leaves over the tomatoes……
- Next is the ham…
- Now we start to duplicate the ingredients again, adding more roasted red peppers, then more mozzarella cheese and then lastly adding some more slices of fresh tomatoes, not forgetting to add seasoning.
- Finally, wrap the whole picnic loaf in cling film………
- and sit something VERY heavy on top, I used a tin of Confit D’Canard! Leave it like this for at least 2 hours, it is better overnight actually.
- Slice the sandwich before you go on your picnic if you wish, it is easier, or just take a wooden board and knife for slicing on location. You can also cut this into wedges too
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Pan Bagnat Recipe
I am also linking this up to BYOB, a monthly blog challenge hosted by:
What is your favourite sandwich?
Do you ever have picnics in your garden?