If you still have a can of tuna in your cupboard, you may want to give this recipe a try. It’s a great alternative to a more traditional tuna salad. Many thanks to my aunt for highlighting this recipe and sharing her modifications with me. This classic Provencal sandwich comes from Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead” cookbook. Serves 4.
Tomato Mozzarella Pan Bagnat
3 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil (we use 1/4 cup)
6 anchovy fillets, drained and minced (optional) – we use a can of tuna
2 tablespoon drained capers
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 medium ripe tomatoes
4 individual ciabatta rolls (we use two rolls and have the sandwiches open-faced)
6-8 ounces lightly salted fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
For the vinaigrette, combine the shallots, garlic, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, two teaspoons of salt, and one teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. Blend.
In a bowl, combine the vinaigrette with the tuna, capers, and olives. Set aside.
Core the tomatoes and slice them 1/3 inch thick. Place the bottom halves of the ciabattas, cut side up, on a sheet pan. Place a layer of tomato on each half then spoon 1/4 of the vinaigrette, sprinkle with basil and top with sliced mozzarella.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Credit: Ina Garten and Sharon Williams