Friday, June 5, 2009

Picnic Sandwich #2: Pan Bagnia

As lovely and tangy as the patafla is, it still strikes me as an appetizer sort of sandwich. Heck, the suggested menu from Outdoor Dining for patafla lists it in the appetizer slot. Sometimes, you need something a little heartier on your picnic, and if you're in a sandwich mood, this is just the thing:
Pan Bagnia

6 tablespoons olive oil
4 large slices eggplant (aubergine)
16 French beans
4 bread rolls
8 teaspoons olive oil, extra
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
parsley, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), cut into strips
12 black olives, pitted
16 slices prosciutto
1 purple (Spanish) onion, thinly sliced, optional

Heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on each side. Lift out and drain on paper towels.

Cook the beans in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain.

Cut the bread rolls in half and brush the cut surfaces with extra olive oil.

Sprinkle the bottom half of each bread roll with the garlic and parsley, then add a slice of eggplant to each one. Divide the remaining ingredients, including the beans, between the bread rolls, then join the halves of the bread rolls together.

Wrap each bread roll securely in plastic (cling) wrap, then put all four under a heavy weight (such as a heavy bread board) for about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

Tomato and Buttermilk Soup (page 93)
Pan Bagnia
Fudge Brownies (page 43)
There is a new French bakery behind the building I work at, and they serve a lauded pan bagnia. We keep talking about going there for lunch. But, oh, how easy it is to put together these weighted sandwiches on your own!

And weighted sandwiches are lovely. The juices mix, the sandwiches hold together well. You can make it without the prosciutto if you want to keep it vegetarian -- goodness knows there's a lot going on with the sandwich -- but I love the melting-on-your-tongue porky goodness the prosciutto brings. If you buy extra, you could always wrap some cantaloupe chunks with it, and serve it as part of a cheese course/dessert.

Chefly Husband has been known to do a version of this sandwich using a large loaf of bread. He calls it a Big Sandwich. I love it, but am charmed by the individual Not So Big nature of these. I'm also charmed with the idea of green beans on a sandwich. It's so very not what I ever did with green beans growing up. Were I to make these, I'd have to have extra beans on hand; our resident Corgi eats green beans with a passion.

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