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Pan Bagnat and Cilantro Pesto

Here in Park City we have outdoor summer concerts several nights of the week.  Locals pack their picnics, from elaborate assemblies to ones just-picked-up at the Market. Wine and beer required. Me, I make a very special sandwich.

The last time I enjoyed one of those outdoor concerts, I made Pan Bagnat (pan ban-YAH) with cilantro pesto. Pan bagnat refers to a sturdy, packable sandwich popular in Southern France. I spread my hollowed out baguette with this cilantro pepita pesto before piling in the other ingredients. (Pepita is the Spanish word for pumpkin seeds.)

Pesto in hollowed baguette

Pesto in hollowed baguette

If you don’t have time to make your own picnic, you can pre-order a Deer Valley basket with scrumptious variety. I happen to know that the chocolate raspberry tart and lemon pound cake in that basket are WOW! Snow Park bakers also make fresh baguettes to go with the Double Cream French Brie.

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Pan Bagnat and Cilantro Pesto
Cilantro Pepita Pesto makes this packable picnic sandwich the absolute best you will ever enjoy! Pepita is the Spanish word for pumpkin seeds.
Ingredients
  • For the sandwich:
  • 1 length fresh baguette (allow 3 or 4 inches per person)
  • Cilantro Pepita Pesto or fresh basil pesto
  • Sliced baked tofu , Roma flavor
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce or sprout
  • Sliced cheese , fresh or aged, one or several types, your choice
  • Pitted olives , sliced
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Thinly sliced cucumber or small zucchini
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 cup stemmed fresh cilantro (see note)
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Real Salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
Instructions
  1. To make the pesto:
  2. With the motor of the food processor running, mince the garlic by dropping it through the feed tube. Process until it is very fine and has flown onto the processor bowl. Add the, cilantro, pepitas and salt. Process for about 10 seconds, stopping to move things around if they get hung up. With the machine running, pour oil through the feed tube in a thin stream, processing until everything is well blended. Pour in the lime juice. Spread on Pan Bagnat.
  3. To make the pan bagnat:
  4. Slice the baguette crosswise a third of the way down from the top. With your fingers, make it hollow by tearing out the softer bready insides.
  5. Spread both top and bottom hollows very generously with pesto.
  6. In the bottom, layer in the options, aiming for lots of flavor and variety. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and a bit of red wine vinegar. Place the Slice the baguette crosswise a third of the way down from the top. With your fingers, make it hollow by tearing out the softer bready insides. Spread both top and bottom hollows very generously with pesto. In the bottom, layer in the options, aiming for lots of flavor and variety. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and a bit of red wine vinegar.
  7. Place the other half of the baguette on top—it should fit over your layers without too much of a gap. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then fasten with rubber bands, at intervals, to press the sandwich together. Pack in your picnic basket, along with a small cutting surface and a good serrated knife.
  8. To serve, slice the Pan Bagnat right through the plastic. Peel away the plastic as you eat the sandwich.
Recipe Notes
If you don’t have enough cilantro, supplement with parsley.

Walnut Paella Salad {vegan, gluten-free}

Back when I was in language school in Cuernavaca Mexico, my host family‘s next door neighbor invited us to his catered 50th birthday fiesta. I spoke enough Spanish to graciously accept shots of their 100% agave, but not enough to carry on a conversation. As I enjoyed their hospitality, out of the corner of my eye I watched the caterer stir saffron seasoned broth into round starchy rice. She layered in various meats and shellfish as the rice plumped. It’s true, rabbit tastes like chicken. Unlike this walnut paella salad, a saffrony summery twist on classic, the paella that night was decidedly not vegetarian. Continue Reading…

Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory Vinaigrette

We have found fresh wax green beans the last two weeks with our Ranui Gardens CSA box. Today we got summer savory. It’s the vinaigrette we vary–this green bean salad with summer savory vinaigrette showcases both the savory and the beans.

I change up the acids and there are many possibilities, like key lime juice, rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.

And I switch around the oil—maybe using part walnut or hazelnut oil for some of the usual olive oil.

Changing the ratio of oil to acid changes the taste as well–follow your preferences.

That makes me feel really good about dressing my green bean salad with savory vinaigrette.

Deborah Madison, author of The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, writes that savory is so closely associated with fresh beans, it’s nicknamed the bean herb.

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Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory Vinaigrette
Serve on a hot summer day.
Ingredients
  • Green or yellow wax beans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped savory leaves or other herb
  • Real Salt and freshly ground pepper , as needed
  • Mixed salad greens , as needed
Instructions
  1. Snap the tips and tails off the beans. Blanch them in boiling salted water about 5 minutes, keeping them firm to your bite but no longer raw. Drain and “shock” the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and guard the bright color. Drain when cold.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and savory. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Just before serving, toss the cold beans in some of the vinaigrette dressing.
  4. Arrange on top of salad greens.

Ginger Coconut Rice

Serve this delicious rice with grilled, baked, or sautéed tempeh. I adapted the recipe from one given on the USA Rice Federation website.

1 (13.5-ounce) can lite coconut milk

Continue Reading…

Zucchini and Tortellini

I bet we all wish Trader Joe’s would open a store in Utah, and, thinking about all the liquor they sell at Trader Joe’s, I can also bet we will never have a store here.

So I shop and stock up when I can. I buy their dried tortellini with mixed cheese filling because it travels and keeps well, and is a cut above in quality over similar products found locally.

John says we have “tons” of zucchini this week. This recipe, here to make a dent in your prolific green cylinder supply, uses Trader Joe’s tortellini instead of spaghetti. It is a Deborah Madison recipe, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Use the entire amount of olive oil—it cooks the zucchini slowly and gently. The evaporated milk is from my pantry; Deborah calls for half-and-half or milk.

Continue Reading…