The lazy days of summer are all about no fuss cooking, sipping a glass of wine and enjoying the great outdoors. This summer I am embracing a few things French, starting with Pan Bagnat which is a tasty sandwich evoking the ingredients of a Nicoise salad but between ciabatta bread. The Pan Bagnat requires no cooking, aka no oven, no stove, NO HOT KITCHEN! The Pan Bagnat is assembled in the morning or even the night before, pressed to absorb the flavors, and refrigerated. Hours later after all the flavor enhancing, you simply enjoy it picnic style, perferably outdoors and with a glass of rosé wine from Provence.
Rosé from Provence, that other French thing I've embraced this summer. Rosé is light, refreshing and a food friendly wine. The number and variety of rosés on the U.S. market this summer has grown from previous years, rosé's popularity is on the rise in the U.S. My rosé favorites are from Provence. They tend to be lighter in color almost a light salmon hue with a perfect fruit to acidity balance and fermented dry. A Provence rosé stand out for me this summer is the 2014 Château d' Esclans, Côte de Provence Rosé, Whispering Angel. Whispering Angel consists primarily of Grenache, Rolle(Vermentino) and Cinsault, 13% alcohol, light to medium on the palate with flavors of red berries and a nice balance of acidity. The perfect wine for a summer picnic with Pan Bagnat.
Summer + Rosé + Pan Bagnat = Perfect Summer Pairing
adapted from Melissa Clark "New York Times" and "Food 52"
10 inch ciabatta, sliced in half lengthwise
16 large basil leaves
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling on bread
2- 5oz cans of tuna in olive oil, drained
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 large tomato, sliced
1. Slice the ciabatta bread lengthwise in halve. Remove some of the bread from the bottom half to make a small indentation. Brush both inside halves with extra virgin olive oil. Line the bottom half with the basil leaves.
2. Make the vinaigrette in a small jar by combining garlic, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake well and then add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Shake.
3. In a medium bowl add tuna, breaking it up with a fork, then add red onion, olives, red pepper and parsley. Gently mix to combine. Give the vinaigrette another good shake and pour it over the tuna mixture and combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
4. Spoon the tuna mixture on top of the basil leaves on the ciabatta bread. Line the tomato slices on top of the tuna mixture. Cover the bottom half with the top of the ciabatta bread.
5. Wrap the entire bread tightly with plastic wrap and press down with a cast iron pan or other heavy object. Wrap the bread again in foil and refrigerate topped with a heavy weight over night or at least for 2 hours.