Saturday, March 31, 2012

vegetable pan bagnat
Here's yet another warm-weather recipe my entire family loved. It's adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine, but I switched out the mushrooms for turkey lunch meat, so it's not vegetarian. But it's still full of good veggies!

Pan bagnat is a sandwich found in the south of France. It's pressed with a weight and refrigerated to allow juices to "bathe the bread," which is the literal translation of the term.

Ingredients: (it looks like a long list, but it's not too hard to throw together.)
1 8-inch round loaf of crusty bread, preferably with rosemary. (mine was just whole wheat)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used an olive oil sprayer)
 1 large clove garlic
2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 6-oz zucchini, ends trimmed
3 4-inch portobello mushroom caps, gills removed (or in my case, lunch meat, or mashed beans, or shredded smoked salmon)
1 8-oz pkg. tomato and basil hummus (any hummus would be fine. I could only find sun dried tomato hummus, so I used that and then sprinkled on a little dried basil.)
1 red bell pepper, sliced into sticks and then broiled w/ a little oil until edges brown.  (or a jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained)
1 packed cup baby arugula leaves (or spinach, or whatever)
1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Halve bread horizontally, using serrated knife. starting 1/2-inch from edges, remove about 1 inch soft bread from center of each half, making hallows for filling; lightly brush (or spray with manual sprayer) with oil. (The recipe says to rub with the garlic, but whatever. Who has time for that, when you'll be getting the garlic flavor in a minute, anyway...)

Squeeze garlic clove through press into bowl; add 2 Tbs. of oil, soy sauce and mustard, and whisk to blend. Pare zucchini lengthwise with vegetable peeler into paper-thin slices, omitting seedy center. (this is where you cut the mushrooms into thin slices also, if you're into those...), then add zucchini and mushrooms to dressing. Toss. Marinate 10 minutes.

To assemble sandwich, spread bread hollows (top and bottom) with hummus. Over bottom half of bread, layer zucchini slices (don't worry if it looks like soggy pasta here. It settles down in the fridge), peppers, mushrooms, arugula, and tomato slices. Grind on black pepper to taste, and replace bread top. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; place on large plate and top with heavy pot lid (I just put a pan on top of it, since I didn't have a heavy lid). Refrigerate at least 4 hours (mine was only 3, and it still tasted great), or up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap and cut into 6 wedges (I cut mine into four, then cut one of those in half, because our youngest kids don't eat as much).

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