Pan Bagna – Wet & Juicy Sarni

This entry is filed under Snacks & Dips.

Wonderfully moreish and lip smackingly juicy

When sustenance is what you need look no further than a Pan Bagna. It looks like a subway and is just the job when you’re feeling ravenous.

Originating from Provence and bursting with Mediterranean flavour, it certainly isn’t your average sandwich. The actual translation means bathed bread which gives you a clue what to expect. Basically you’re looking at bread drenched in an olive oil dressing.

If you haven’t had a P.B before you’re in for a treat, bite into the soft luscious filling and you’ll see what I mean.

However, there is a slight downside – for best results P.B’s need a 12 hour resting period to soak up all the lovely juices. If time’s an issue, save it for the weekend.

The sky’s the limit where fillings are concerned; salami, ham, tuna all work well. Vegetarian options includes goats cheese, artichokes even ratatouille works well.

I shall be making them all summer as P.B’s are great for filling up ravenous teenagers. The last one consisted of smoked salmon, dill, cream cheese and a homemade salsa verde replaced the usual dressing to give it extra zip. Deeelicious !!!

Whatever filling you choose, I’m sure you’ll love the result.

A cross section of Pan Bagna

Pan Bagna

1 ciabatta loaf – half baked is fine
100g hard cheese
50g smoked ham
20g rocket leaves
3 -4 vine ripened tomatoes
3 tbsp (heaped) pitted olives green /black or mixed
1 tbsp capers
2 cloves garlic
1 pickled gherkin
1 handful parsley
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
Freshly ground salt and black pepper

Food processor
Bread knife and chopping board
Heavy book or other weight
Cheese grater
Cling film

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven and bake off the bread if using half baked Ciabatta and allow to cool.

Make up the chunky dressing by placing all the dressing ingredients in the food processor and blitzing to a thick sloppy paste.

Grate the cheese and slice the tomatoes (discarding the end pieces).

Cut the ciabatta lengthways then spread spoonfuls of chunky dressing over each half, liberally coating all parts of the bread.

Take each half and layer with tomato slices, rocket, ham and grated cheese, spooning dressing over each layer.

Now carefully clamp both halves firmly together.

Roll out a length of cling film, place the filled ciabatta onto it and wrap up tightly with several layers.

Put in the fridge and cover with a heavy weight, (I use a massive book that weighs a ton) but anything heavy that covers the bread will do.

Leave to compress for 12 hours. Turn the bread over occasionally to let the juices trickle their way down into the other half, each time replacing the weight.


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