Something like a salade nicoise on a roll -- you'll find it on every street corner in Nice
1 loaf of round, crusty French bread (the ideal loaf is about 8 inches in diameter, 2 inches high, and weighs about 3/4 pound; the pane di casa at Dean & DeLuca is perfect)
1 garlic clove, halved
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
3 large, ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced
24 fresh basil leaves
8 fresh mint leaves
6-ounce can of tuna packed in olive oil
1 scallion, minced
2 teaspoons drained capers packed in brine
12 niçoise olives, pitted
6 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil (optional)
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and sliced
1. Halve the bread horizontally. Remove some of the soft center of the bread to make a hollow, rub each half with a cut side of garlic, drizzle each with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and a little vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Cover the bottom slice of bread with half the tomato slices, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and top with 12 basil leaves and the mint leaves. Stir together the tuna, scallion, capers, and olives in a small bowl, then place on top of mint leaves. Top with anchovies, if desired. Make a layer of hard-boiled egg, then a layer of remaining tomato slices and remaining basil. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place top slice of bread on sandwich and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
3. Let the sandwich stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving so that the dressing may saturate the bread. Cut into halves or quarters.
Note: We like to make pan bagnat in 1 large sandwich- but you could make 2 sandwiches on 2 smaller rolls (each about 4 inches in diameter), using the same ingredients listed above. Each sandwich would then serve 1 person. This is the way you usually find it on those French street corners.
Literally translated, pan bagnat means bathed bread. It's something like a salade nicoise on a roll, with the dressing seeping into the bread and making it wet. In Nice, you'll find it on every street corner. It is eaten for breakfast, lunch, on picnics, and as an hors d'oeuvre -- though it is most commonly eaten as a mid-morning snack. Makes 1 large sandwich, enough for 2 people