Picnic time! Well, it is as I’m writing this, though maybe by the time you read it the weather will have collapsed and you’ll be sitting in front of a fire drinking Horlicks.
Pan Bagnat is a Provençal sandwich. I first had one at a party in Laughton Tower, a folly in the middle of a field near Lewes in Sussex, where our friends Charles and Romilly made about a thousand of them for the occasion. I thought it was the best cold picnic food I’d ever had. It’s like Salade Niçoise in a bun. I am normally an evangelist for the single-ingredient sandwich, but this is the honourable exception.
A ciabatta loaf, or better, two half-ciabattas
300g broad beans, podded
½ red pepper, in strips
2 tomatoes, sliced
8 salted anchovies
12 stoned black olives
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp small cornichons
If the broad beans are young, use them raw. If they’re not, boil them for 3 minutes, dunk them immediately in cold water, let them cool off, and drain them.
Put the loaf on a board and cut it in half horizontally. Cover one half with the rest of the ingredients, season with pepper (hold the salt, the anchovies will do the work), drizzle over olive oil generously, and put the top half of the loaf back on. Put another board on top and something heavy, really heavy, like a cast iron saucepan, or a copy of the Chilcot Report, on top of that. Leave for at least two hours.
Words by Orlando Gough
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