shallot vinaigrette

pan-bagnat means “bathed bread”. it’s a sandwich large enough to feed an entire group of people (or one person over a couple days). this is really a spring-summer recipe as that’s when these are in season, but i’m super sick of winter and want to pretend it’s warm out. i heard about this from jacques pepin in the “our favorite sandwiches” episode of julia and jacques cooking at thome.

mine is a lot more vegetable based. i don’t use cheese or lettuce. instead i use red pepper, red onion, radishes, cucumber, tomato, hard boiled eggs, sardines, and a shallot vinaigrette. i also use a ciabatta because it’s easy to find, and it will stand up to all the liquid.

prep all your filling ingredients. i slice everything thin so it will lay as flat as possible. you definitely want to prepare it all in advance. this takes up almost all the active time making this sandwich; once everything is prepped, slice your loaf in half. i put a wide piece of clingfilm down under my bread, because i’ll need to wrap it up anyway and this way i don’t need to move the filled sandwich onto to clingfilm. drizzle a little olive oil on the bread and begin layering the filling.

don’t be afraid to mound it up a lot, the sandwich will compress later. this looks like a mess but if you’ve been layering, when you slice into the sandwich later you’ll be able to see the strata of filling.

when you feel like you’ve gotten as much into this sandwich as possible, drizzle the top of your loaf with olive oil, then place it on top and tightly wrap the entire sandwich with clingfilm. like, the ENTIRE sandwich. you want to keep the liquid in, and keep the sardine or tuna or anchovy smell in as well. weight it down by putting something heavy on a tray or plate and put it on top of your sandwich. i like to flip the sandwich a couple times while it’s resting, so that the two pieces of bread are equally oil-soaked. let it sit for at least 6 hours (i try to wait overnight) before unwrapping and eating. 

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Quinoa for the win: Quinoa salad with cucumber, roast eggplant, tomato and lime-shallot-olive oil vinaigrette 

Quinoa makes for a great addition to just about anything. It’s also really easy to cook! Simply boil water (about three times the amount compared to Quinoa) and put the dry quinoa in, and wait for it to fluff up until the white rind-thing shows itself. That was honestly a bad explanation, but there are better ones on the internet. Thank god I’m not the one preparing to be a master chef. In any case, this is a terrific lunch idea, especially since the light vinaigrette goes really well with everything - I added chopped parsley as well to give it extra freshness, and the lime was so summery and cool. 

The best Vegan lunch ever: Beetroot and Orange salad, with Grilled Bell Pepper, Grilled Zucchini, Roasted Pumpkin and Potatoes, gigantic Olives, Pickled Cucumber, the sweetest Carmelized Whole Shallot, and White Beans with a olive oil shallot vinaigrette for a lunch with friends. This is the reason why I’m not surprised that many are Vegan/Vegetarian by choice - why would you ever eat meat when you could eat this amazing spread instead?