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Tuna, Tomato and Olive Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)

Tuna, Tomato and Olive Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)
This sandwich, essentially a salade niçoise on a roll, is a specialty of Nice. Fillings vary somewhat, as might be expected, but tuna is nearly always included, as are tomatoes and olives. It is sold from storefront sandwich shops, at some traiteurs, and even at modest cafés located near the center of town—far from the elegant cafés along the Promenade des Anglais bordering the Mediterranean.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, round, chewy bread rolls
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 4 oz. water or oil-packed tuna
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
  • 12 anchovy fillets
  • 16 pitted niçoise olives
  • 4 to 6 lettuce leaves such as butter, green leaf
      or red leaf

Directions:

Slice the rolls in half horizontally. Sprinkle the cut sides evenly with the olive oil and vinegar.

Drain the tuna and place it in a bowl. Using a fork, flake the tuna into smallish pieces. Divide evenly among the bottom halves of the rolls. Then evenly divide the bell pepper, tomatoes, eggs, anchovy fillets and olives among them. Cover the filling with the lettuce leaves. Put the roll tops in place and serve.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring France, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1999).