Rustic sandwiches built for two savory meals
One of summer’s finest pleasures is a Sunday picnic supper at the beach (or at the lake or in the mountains or a city park). For the occasion, make a riff on pan bagnat, a sandwich popular in Nice in the south of France, filled with tuna, anchovies, olives, tomatoes, and enough olive oil to dribble onto your hands as you eat it.
The name pan bagnat comes from Nicoise dialect and means “bathed bread.’’ We played with the idea and came up with this version, which has Italian overtones: fresh mozzarella, the soft oozy kind that comes packed in whey, prosciutto, bell peppers, eggplant, and basil leaves. Focaccia or a flat, rustic bread like ciabatta are the best candidates to enclose the filling, but you could hollow out a baguette, too. Make two sandwiches so there’s plenty left to turn into another dish. While everyone else departs to get an early start home, relax and watch the sun fade.
The next day, cut the leftover sandwich into cubes and make a savory bread pudding with plenty of eggs and milk. Think of it as an inside-out quiche that bakes up crusty and cheesy. Add a salad and Monday supper is as refreshing as your sunset picnic the night before.