Can you think of a food or dish that you don’t eat often but, when you do eat it, your taste buds end up doing a little happy dance inside your mouth? One dish that does this for me is a tuna salad. I don’t typically eat it more than three or four times a year. But, I always enjoy it when I do…especially if it has olives in it.
So, try to imagine how excited I was when I recently came across recipes that would allow me to put tuna and olives on the same sandwich! I’ll give you a hint: I was very excited! The sandwich is called a pan bagnat (which I’ve read means “bathed” or “wet” bread due to the generous amount of olive oil that is usually drizzled on it) and it’s popular in Nice and other cities in southern France.
Are you or anyone in your family a fan of tuna? If so, I encourage you to check out the below recipe. Better yet, perhaps you should try out the recipe even if you don’t–or someone in your family doesn’t–usually like tuna. Thanks to the assortment of other delicious ingredients that are included in the recipe–and the fact that the tuna brand that I used is less aromatic than brands I’ve eaten in the past–even those who think they don’t like tuna might really like it!
As usual, if you use any of the below links to purchase the ingredients that I used for the sandwich or the side salad that I paired with it, I will earn a small commission from qualifying purchases that will help me to continue to share content like this on my blog.
What You’ll Need To Make My Easy Pan Bagnat Meal (Six servings)
*3/4 Cup of Olive Oil
*1/2 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar
*3 Tablespoons of Dried Parsley
*3 Tablespoons of Onion Powder
*3 Tablespoons of Dried Basil
*2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
*2 Long Whole Wheat Baguettes
*2 Cups of Nicoise Olives, sliced
*3 Jars of Tuna in Water, drained (6-7 ounces each) [See possible substitution in notes following the recipe.]
*6 Large Hard-boiled Eggs
*4 Large Vine-ripened Tomatoes, sliced
*4 Roasted Red Peppers, sliced
*Salt and Pepper to taste
*Chopped Raw Vegetables for the Salad (Optional, but see suggestions in the notes section.)
*Salad Dressing of Choice
How to Make My Easy Pan Bagnat Meal
1. Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover them with water, and bring the water to a rapid boil. Allow the eggs to boil for approximately 10 minutes. While they are cooking, move on to the next step.
2. You will likely come across recipes for this sandwich that include olive oil being drizzled onto the bread first and then, later on, the vinaigrette is added. However, I’m recommending that you mix these ingredients together in a small bowl with the parsley, onion powder, dried basil and Dijon mustard and create a dressing for the sandwich. I felt that would make my prep process easier and neater since I’d also be touching and layering on all of the other ingredients.
3. Cut each of your baguettes lengthwise and place them cut side up on large sheets of aluminum foil placed on your kitchen counter. (This will catch any of the dressing that might drip off of the sandwiches.) Then, use a large spoon to drizzle the dressing on the tops and bottoms of the baguettes.
4. Slice the tomatoes and place several slices on each baguette bottom. (Do not layer them on the baguette tops.)
5. Slice the red peppers and place them aside for now.
6. The eggs have likely been boiling for 10 minutes by this point. If so, remove them from the stove and allow them to cool down. If they’re not ready, allow them to continue cooking and still proceed to the next step.
7. Place your dry salad ingredients in a bowl and gently toss them. Set salad aside.
8. Once the eggs are ready, remove them from the saucepan, run them under cold water, and peel them. Then, cut them into slices and layer the eggs on top of the tomatoes.
9. Next, shake the tuna into a small bowl, flake it, and then spread spoonfuls of it evenly on top of the egg slices. FYI, it’s okay if a bit of tuna falls between the egg and tomato slices. You could drizzle on more of the dressing at this point if you want to.
10. Layer the sliced roasted peppers and olives on top of the tuna. If you have dressing left over, feel free to spoon it on top of the roasted peppers and olives. Next, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the roasted peppers and olives and cover the sandwiches with the baguette tops.
11. Once both sandwiches are assembled, wrap them in foil or plastic wrap, press them down a bit with your hands, and then place a weight of some sort on top of them to further press the sandwiches together. You can use heavy pans, cookie sheets with cans placed on top of them, etc. Leave them wrapped and on your kitchen counter for at least an hour or place them in your refrigerator if you want to eat them later that day or the following day. When you’re ready to serve the sandwiches, unwrap them, cut them into thirds, and enjoy! (Note: If you don’t press your sandwiches long (or well) enough, they might not hold together properly and may have to be wrapped individually while you’re eating them as I had to do with our sandwiches.)
Possible Substitutions and Notes:
1. The tuna in the jar that I used is more expensive than canned tuna. However, I like it because its aroma is less intense than that of the canned tuna brands I’ve bought in the past. And, since I don’t buy it often, I don’t mind paying a bit more for it when I do. (FYI, if you eat tuna often and want to try out the brand I used, consider buying a 6-pack of it. The cost per jar is less in the pack than if you buy them individually.)
2. If you already have a favorite canned tuna brand, that’s great! Feel free to use it. If I were to buy canned tuna, I’d buy this one.
3. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry nicoise olives, you could order Barnier nicoise olives through Amazon. A half pound, which would be plenty for these sandwiches, will only cost around $6. You could also use a jar of mixed olives that contain nicoise and kalamata olives, or simply use kalamata olives.
4. I forgot to take a photo of the bread I used before assembling my sandwiches. But, if you click on the above link for the baguettes that I used, you’ll be able to see how they should look. If you’d rather use a different type of bread, feel free to use a traditional white baguette or a large, round focaccia loaf that you can cut into six sections after the sandwich is made.
5. If you decide to add in additional ingredients for your salad, you could use chopped tomatoes, sliced or diced cucumber, candied nuts or any other ingredient that your family likes to have in their salads.