writes a food blog post before they have even tasted the food, much less before
ever making it?
I am on a
plane headed to the Pacific Northwest, going to a professional conference. I
packed all the mundane needs for such a trip: flash drive with my PowerPoint, notes
for my presentation, clothes, Dopp kit, and eyeglasses. At the last minute, I
added my unopened June issue of Food & Wine.
My rule of thumb regarding the value of any single issue of a magazine is this:
if there is even one recipe that has me salivating, counting the hours till I
can make it, the issue is worth having. It's even better if that dish comes out
well, and is something I will make again and again.
opening my magazine on the plane, I knew immediately what I will be making for
my August 1st post... and it's only May 17!
is racing ahead to a hot July afternoon. The temperature will probably be
somewhere around 100°F. Maybe even 110°F. We will want a break from the relentless summer heat,
even though we don't mind it terribly.
pack a picnic. We'll invite some friends to join us. We may drive up 8000 feet
to the forested mountain north of Tucson, or south to the cool upland prairie.
I can envision a crisp, chilled rosé. And I will make these sandwiches. Pan bagnat, a
make changes in the magazine’s version of the recipe to suit our tastes. I will wrap them
in parchment and tie them with twine. And, by the time we arrive at our cooler
destination, under the shade of a coniferous mountain forest or Arizona live-oak
tree among shimmering prairies, the ingredients will have spent the perfect
amount of time marinating.
flavors will come together and become one, yet each bite will have something
special that will shine through. A burst of capers, fennel, tuna, or anchovy.
But all as one.
the perfect meal for a rosé, and I invite you to see which one I paired with this sandwich on this week's issue of the Provence WineZine.
|Barbara, Mark, and Dianne - my perfect picnic companions!|
though I have not yet made this, I know it will be perfect. Perfect like a
On July 25th, two months and a week after writing the post above, I made the pan bagnat and they were everything I had hoped for. Mark, Barbara, Dianne, and I went up Mount Lemmon, and picnicked in the cool mountain air under a canopy of tall pine trees. We had one special visitor while eating; he was sad that we refused to share. But he was brazen enough to check the box from Café Français, where I got the cookies and bread.
by Food & Wine, June 2015
below finally created 25 July 2015
tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, divided
teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
tablespoons fennel fronds
teaspoons Dijon mustard
teaspoon black pepper
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
light oil - olive or canola
bell pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced
pitted and chopped Niçoise olives
teaspoon Piment d'Esplette (or red pepper flakes)
jars tuna packed in oil, drained
baguette, halved lengthwise
fennel bulb, shaved paper thin
heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
(pickling) cucumbers, thinly sliced
making the mayonnaise. Lightly toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low
eat until golden. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder.
egg, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, fennel fronds, mustard,
salt, pepper, ground fennel, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl of a food
processor fitted with the steel blade. Purée for 10-15 seconds, or until fennel fronds are finely
chopped. Then, in a VERY slow and steady stream, with processor running, add
the light oil. By the time it is gone, the mixture should be a perfect
cup of the mayonnaise (reserve the rest for another use, like steamed
artichokes), the crème fraîche, and Pastis in a medium bowl. Mix well and taste for
seasoning; add salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
another medium bowl, mix roasted red pepper, olives, capers, Piment d'Esplette,
and remaining lemon zest and juice. Flake in the tuna and remaining 2
tablespoons olive oil. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
the sandwiches, generously spread both cut sides of the baguette with the fennel
mayonnaise. Arrange the arugula on the bottom half of the baguette. Top with
sliced fennel, then the tuna mixture. Top with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and white anchovies. Place the other half of the bread on top, then slice into four
sandwiches. Wrap each individually in parchment and tie with twine.
ice in a cooler for a couple of hours while you travel to your picnic site.
Unwrap, and grab a taste of summer heaven. Don't forget to bring plenty of napkins - this is a messy sandwich!
Labels: anchovies, capers, cucumber, fennel, pan bagnat, Provence, tomatoes, tuna, white anchovies