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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.
Author: Letty Flatt
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.

1 comment

  • […] For us the basil is easy because we squirrel it away made into pesto. I keep walnuts and fresh Romano cheese on hand this time of year in hopes that John will bless us with his beautiful basil. If I feel like I am swimming in cilantro, I turn it into Latino pesto with toasted pumpkin seeds. […] Reply · 20 July, 2010

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