I recently visited the stunning city of Nice and frankly I did see some changes, perhaps less tourists, the streets of Nice have become big parking lots, and many new restaurants that cater French food for tourists. But, thank goodness there are still lots of old restaurants and cafes that have not changed their menu since I was a teenager and spent many happy summers with my parents in Nice. One of my favourites which is still standing is Kiosk TINTIN. This little kiosque started catering for the vendors in the markets along the roads around it. It became famous for its Pan Bagnat. After so many years its Pan Bagnat is still the best in Nice. This sandwich, in my opinion, combines all the flavours of the Mediterranean as well as the flavours of Provence. It is a unique Sandwich bathed in olive oil, dressed with sweet tomatoes, salty anchovies and tiny, tender Nice olives. My recipe is as close as I could get to the Pan Bagnat made in kiosque TINTIN, but I am not sure I am being fair to it. It is a delicious sandwich but for some reason when you sit in this little Kiosk their Pan Bagnat just tastes better than mine. Voila! Perhaps it is the French savoir vivre!
- 4 rustic rolls
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
- 2 very ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
- 4 big radishes, finely sliced, use a Mandolin if you have one
- 1 can of the best tuna you can buy
- 2 boiled eggs, thickly sliced
- 1 medium size red onion, sliced thinly
- 6 anchovie fillets
- a hand full of pitted tiny black olives
- juice of one lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- A handful of basil leaves, optional
Ingredients for the Vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk, the vinaigrette is almost like an emulsion. It is a bit thick and has a beautiful golden colour.
- Cut each bread roll horizontally. Take some of the bread from the inside of the two halves. Drizzle both sides with GOOD extra virgin olive oil. Rub the cut sides of the garlic all over both halves of the rolls.
- Arrange a layer of sliced tomatoes over the base of the bread. Give the tomatoes a sprinkled of salt to help them release their juice into the bread.
3. Scatter over the tomatoes the onion slices, celery slices and radish slices. Drizzle them with the vinaigrette.
4. In small bowl flake the tuna with a fork, add lemon juice and pepper and salt to taste. Put the tuna on top of the salad vegetables on each bread roll.
5. Add the egg slices, olives and anchovies.
6. Put on the top of each bread roll. To hold them together use a wooden skewer ( the type used for Sate). Pan Bagnat should be served immediately. Wrapping them and putting them in the refrigerator makes the bread soggy and all of the flavours are lost.
- Use a rustic style bread.
- I prefer to use rustic bread rolls.
- You can add basil leaves among the layers, But serve the Pan Bagnat immediately otherwise the basil will go black and looses its freshness. Basil brings the true flavour of Provence.
- You can leave out or add more of anything you particularly dislike or like to this sandwich. Stick to the original ingredients. It is basically a Salad Nicoise inside a bread roll.