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Sunday Supper & More

Pan bagnat

(Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe)
July 7, 2010

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Serves 4, with leftovers

Layer two sandwiches so there’s plenty left for the bread pudding.

VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cup olive oil

1. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

2. Gradually whisk in the oil a little at a time until the dressing emulsifies. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

SANDWICH

1/2 cup olive oil
4 yellow, orange, or red bell peppers, stemmed and halved lengthwise
2 medium eggplant, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch thick rounds
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 focaccia, ciabatta, or other flat, rustic loaves (10 to 15 inches long)
4 large tomatoes, sliced
6 stems fresh basil, leaves removed
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
12 thin slices prosciutto or ham

1. Turn on the broiler. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Place the peppers on the sheet cut sides down. Broil until the skins blacken all over, checking them often and moving them with tongs so they char evenly. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover it with a plate. When they cool, scrape off and discard the skins and seeds.

3. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on the baking sheet and broil for 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until browned on both sides.

4. Halve the breads horizontally. If the loaves are thick, hollow them out by tearing away some of the soft crumb to make even top and bottom layers. (Save the bread for breadcrumbs.) Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the cut side of each bottom half.

5. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes to each, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette. Top with a layer of peppers, another layer of eggplant, 1 more tablespoon of vinaigrette, a layer of basil leaves, mozzarella, and prosciutto.

6. Sprinkle the cut sides of the bread tops with vinaigrette. Set them on the sandwich. Wrap the sandwiches in several layers of plastic wrap and set them on a baking sheet. Lay another baking sheet or flat tray on top and weight the sandwiches with a heavy pan or a stack of plates. Let them rest for 30 minutes.

7. Cut each loaf into 8 wedges. (Save 6 wedges for the pudding.)

Sally Pasley Vargas