Want to stay in, but eat like you’re out? Here, chef and writer Heather Platt shares recipes inspired by L.A.’s hottest restaurant dishes. We say “inspired by,” as these creations are Platt’s own and have been adapted for the home cook, using easy-to-access ingredients and techniques you can pull off in just about any kitchen—yes, even yours.
The Real Thing:
Have you ever been mesmerized by a sandwich? Between every bite, you can’t help but stare at the bread-wedged food in your hands, entranced, contemplating its deliciousness. Among the variety of pastries, tartines, crepes, baguettes and myriad other delights at downtown L.A.’s new French Boulangerie, Pitchoun, you’ll find the Pan Bagnat. This traditional Niçoise sandwich is served on their house made bread which is drizzled on both sides with olive oil and vinegar (pan-bagnat translates to “bathed/wet bread”) and layered with the classic ingredients: tuna, raw vegetables, whole anchovies and olives. It is, essentially, a Salade Niçoise on a roll. And though it seems so simple, the combination of flavors is revelatory; a dish whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
This simplicity is exactly what makes it a great home recipe. In this version I chop the anchovies and olives and combine them with the vinaigrette to amp up its flavor, which gets slathered all over the bread. Aside from boiling the eggs and whisking the vinaigrette, the recipe is mostly just the fun of assembling the colorful components. I encourage you to make these sandwiches to bring on a picnic, to a summer concert, or just for lunch at home. It’s okay, stare all you want!
Dish Hack: Pitchoun’s Pan Bagnat
Inspired by classic Niçoise sandwich at downtown L.A.’s Pitchoun!
Total Time: 35 minutes
1 small shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 2 oz can anchovy filets, drained and minced
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 3 oz can good quality tuna in olive oil
1 celery spear
2 green onions, chopped (green parts only)
2 round crusty sandwich rolls (preferably sourdough)(ciabatta works too)
kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. When the water is rapidly boiling, use tongs to carefully place the eggs in the water. Turn off the heat and cover. Set a kitchen timer for 14 minutes. When the timer goes off, use the tongs to remove the eggs from the water. They will be hard boiled.
In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, vinegar and mustard powder. In a slow steady stream, add the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Stir in the anchovies and olives. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Thinly slice the celery and radishes. If you have a mandoline, this is the perfect time to use it. If not, a knife will do.
Peel the hard boiled eggs and slice them cross wise into 1/4 inch coins.
Cut the rolls in half crosswind and toast in a toaster.
Slather the bottom piece of bread with the olive-anchovy vinaigrette. Place the tomatoes on top in a single layer, followed by the egg slices and tuna. Scatter the sliced radishes and celery on top of the tuna and sprinkle with the chopped green onions. Slather the top piece of bread with the vinaigrette and serve.