Sandwich and salad
For a sandwich that tastes good even when stored
When I'm preparing for a flight, I think about sandwiches. I like to pack a lunch, something portable and easy. The problem: my homemade sandwiches used to get soggy.
Then it occurred to me that whole wheat sesame hamburger buns never get soggy, even when slathered with ketchup. And, sandwiches on rolls are often wonderful: in France, there's the nicoise salad in a bun or baguette called pan bagnat (bathed bread), and in Mexico I've come across delicious sandwiches in Puebla (called cemitas) and in Veracruz state (pambazos).
All of them are essentially salads with some added protein pressed between two halves of a roll. The rolls can be hard in the authentic versions, but I prefer a soft roll when you bite on a hard crust, you have to bite down so hard that the filling oozes out. The hamburger bun is perfect. A sandwich in a bun also is easy to cut in half. When I tested these recipes, I found that half of any of these will make a filling meal. They wrap and keep so well that I enjoyed eating a second half for lunch or dinner even after it had been refrigerated for a day.
Pan Bagnat on a Bun
Pan bagnat is a classic southern French sandwich, essentially the makings of a nicoise salad inside a baguette or a round, hard roll. I suggest adding a tomato in the summer, but at any time of year, there are plenty of great foods that can be included. Instead of French bread, I make these on whole wheat hamburger rolls.
For the dressing
Garlic clove - 1
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Dijon mustard - 1 teaspoon
Fresh lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
Sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar - 1 teaspoon
Extra virgin olive oil - 1 tablespoon
For the salad mixture
1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 to 3/4 can water-packed tuna, drained
Four or five thin slices of cucumber
A generous handful of lettuce or baby spinach
A few thin slices of red or green pepper
1 slice red onion, soaked in cold water for five minutes, drained and rinsed (optional)
A few leaves fresh basil, cut in thin strips
1/2 hard-cooked egg, sliced
1 whole wheat or whole wheat sesame hamburger bun
1. To make the dressing, puree the garlic with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. With a pestle or a small whisk, work in the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Add pepper and set aside.
2. Combine all the salad ingredients except the hard-cooked egg in a bowl, and toss with the dressing until thoroughly coated. Pile half of this mixture onto the bottom half of the hamburger bun.Push it down, and arrange the slices of hard-cooked egg on top.
Season, if you wish, with salt and pepper, then pile the remaining salad on top of the eggs. It will look like a lot, but it will compress. Cover with the top bun, press down and wrap tightly in plastic.
Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or for several hours in the refrigerator, before cutting in half. Wrap the half you don't eat, tightly, and refrigerate.
Note: In season, add one small tomato, sliced, to the mix. You can mix it with the salad, or layer the slices over the egg.
Yield Two servings.
Advance preparation You can refrigerate the wrapped sandwich for up to two days.
Nutritional information per sandwich 497 calories; 22 gm fat; 4 gm saturated fat; 141 mg cholesterol; 43 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm dietary fibre; 856 mg sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 33 gm protein.
MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
NYT NEWS SERVICE
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