Pan Bagnat

Pan Bagnat

Pan Bagnat

Working in the Richmond District of San Francisco, one of my favorite places to go for lunch is Cafe Rigolo.  The French do lunch (and really, all food) so well, it’s hard not to turn to a little French bistro for lunch to remind you that there’s beauty in the world.  It always makes things better.  Every time I go to Cafe Rigolo, I order the same sandwich, so when I saw a version of it on Food 52, it seemed like a sign.  I had to make it.  I’m so glad I did.  This is one of the best things we’ve made in a long time.  So light and delicious and wonderful.  We served it for dinner with a broccoli kale soup (which I’ll be posting in a minute).  It’s one of those things that you make where you plan when you’re going to make it again while you’re eating it.  Sooooooo GOOD!  Good company and a glass of chardonnay knocks it out of the park!

  • 1/2 loaf crusty French baguette (being San Franciscans, we used a sourdough baguette to great effect)
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • 4-6 basil leaves
  • 1 (6oz) can tuna
  • 3/4 cups Nicoise or Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 jar or can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup blanched French green beans, sliced into thirds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. PREP THE BREAD: Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Remove some of the insides of the bottom half to create a trough into which the filling will go. Brush both halves with a little extra virgin olive oil. Rub each with the garlic. Line the half with the trough with the basil leaves. Then mince the garlic and sprinkle it over the bread.
  2. MIX THE SALAD: In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna, olives, red bell pepper, onion, parsley, artichoke hearts (if using) and green beans (if using). In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil until it is emulsified/combined. Pour the vinaigrette into the tuna mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  3. ASSEMBLE: Spoon tuna mixture into the trough of the baguette over the basil leaves.
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