Pan bagnat is the “bathed bread” sandwich from the south of France. Typically it contains tuna, but you won’t miss the fish with all the great flavors going on in this vegan version. Since this sandwich must be prepared in advance in order for the bread to become flavored with the other ingredients, it makes a great choice for a picnic.
Vegetable Pan Bagnat
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped out
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cloves garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 cup tahini, sesame paste
- 2 tablespoons minced reconstituted or oil-packed sundried tomato
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large round crusty bread loaf
- 2 roasted red bell peppers, home-roasted or jarred, cut into strips
- 1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
- 1 cup packed baby spinach or kale leaves
- 1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
Cut the mushroom caps into very thin slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the mushroom slices and sear on both sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a plate and cook the remaining mushrooms slices. When all the mushrooms are cooked, combine them all in the skillet and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, and mustard, stirring to blend. Pour the mixture over the mushrooms, turning to coat. Set aside to cool.
In a food processor, combine the white beans and garlic and process to a paste. Add the tahini, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Use a serrated knife to cut the bread in half horizontally. Use your hands to pinch out the soft center of the bread from inside both halves of the loaf to make room for the filling.
Spread the white bean mixture inside the both halves of the loaf. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and layer them over the white bean mixture, alternating with layers of the roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, spinach, tomato, and olives. Drizzle with the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste. Replace the top half of the loaf and wrap the entire loaf tightly in plastic. Place the sandwich on a large plate and top with another plate, lid or pan. Weigh the top down with canned goods. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap the sandwich and cut it with a serrated knife into 4 four to 6 six wedges.
This recipe is from Vegan Without Borders © Robin Robertson, 2014, Andrews McMeel Publishing, photo by Zsu Dever.