This vegetarian pan bagnat recipe was inspired by a recent post on BuzzFeed for 27 Awesome Easy Lunches To Bring To Work. I’m thrilled to have been included in the roundup with the Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich!
There is also a few other great vegan to-go lunch options as well so be sure to take a look. In it I saw this Pan Bagnat from Food 52 and had to veganize it for us plant-powered lovers.
I love Food 52, and have always been inspired by the simplicity and beauty of their photography. They’ve inspired this Mushroom Bourguignon and these Gluten Free Banana Pancakes. It’s a great community if you haven’t heard of it yet!
What is Pan Bagnat
The pan bagnat (meaning ‘bathed bread’) is a classic specialty sandwich served in and around the region of Nice, France. It’s a sandwich version of the salad niçoise which is a combination of tuna, anchovies and/or sliced hard boiled egg mixed with raw vegetables like red bell pepper, green beans, radishes, olives and onion. You will also find there to be olive oil and possibly vinegar, salt and pepper.
Here we’ll be using a few of these traditional ingredients, but making a veggie version of this classic using white beans as our protein in place of tuna. And I can guarantee you this is just as delicious, if not better than the traditional version!
Not only does the salad make for a great sandwich filler, but it would be just as good on a bed of leafy greens as well. This recipe may give you leftovers, and that’s a good thing because it only gets better the next day. One day make a sandwich for work, home or a picnic, and the next day top it on some leafy greens or eat as is because it’s amazing on its own!
The Ingredients For Veggie Pan Bagnat
I love the saltiness from the olives here, you can also add a tablespoon of capers if you like. The fresh bell pepper and blanched green beans add a nice crunch and sweetness, while the onion and artichokes add another layer of flavor. Tie the vegetables together with the white beans, dressing made of olive oil, lemon and mustard, add a good sprinkling of mineral salt & plenty of cracked pepper and this salad will be another favorite to come back to time and time again!
How To Make a Veggie Pan Bagnat
To create the traditional pan bagnat you’ll first want to hollow out the insides of your bread. I left the top on this alone but from now on will hollow it out as well. It gives more room for your salad, helping to hold it together better while using less bread at the same time which is great too.
Next, brush the insides of the bread with olive oil. Layer your bottom half with the salad. Since we’re going to press the sandwich you can pile it on pretty good making a very hearty sandwich. Add your tomatoes across the top. Then layer basil, top with mineral salt & cracked pepper and remaining slice.
Lastly, wrap your sandwich tightly in saran wrap, fold ends under and press with a few heavy books or heavy pot. This is an important part or your sandwich will be very messy and fall all over. Trust me, I know this from first hand experience.
Plus, this helps the bread soak up the moisture of the salad dressing making for ‘bathing the bread‘. So be sure to press your sandwich, even if just for an hour, it will make all the difference, although overnight is even better. This makes a perfect grab and go sandwich for lunches and picnics, once pressed it’s wrapped and ready to go!
PAN BAGNAT (WHITE BEAN NICOISE SALAD SANDWICH)
This vegan pan bagnat sandwich with white beans, bell pepper, french green beans, artichoke, olives and lemon dijon mustard dressing makes a great grab and go lunch or dinner!
- 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini or chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed well or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup blanched French green beans, cut into half or thirds
- 1 jar artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1 –2 greek peperoncinis, diced (optional, not a traditional ingredient)
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
Cut bread in half lengthwise. Remove some of the insides of each half making a trough for the filling (this will help keep the filling inside the sandwich when eating). Brush both halves with extra virgin olive oil.
In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together until dijon has emulsified. Set aside to let the flavors develop.
In a medium/large mixing bowl, add beans and roughly mash leaving about 2/3 whole beans. Add in dressing to the beans and mix well. Add in the bell pepper, green beans, artichokes, red onion, olives, parsley, optional peperoncini and salt & pepper. Mix to combine.
Layer your bottom half of bread with a good serving of the mixed salad. Add tomatoes across the top, then top with basil leaves and salt & pepper. Top with other slice of bread. (You can also vice versa this layer order starting with the basil and tomato on the bottom and salad on top.)
Wrap sandwich tightly in saran wrap and press with a few heavy books/pots for at least an hour to overnight. If overnight, be sure to press in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, slice in half or make as many slices as you like. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Store any leftover salad mixture covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
The cannellini beans have more protein and fiber than chickpeas so if that is a priority use them. Otherwise use your preferred white bean.
Try adding a splash of red or white wine vinegar to the dressing if you like.
As with all my recipes, add/subtract ingredients to your liking. Try adding a tablespoon or so of capers. I’ve had someone sub in asparagus for the green beans. Add sliced radishes along the top.