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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Pressed Nicoise on Baugette

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
This is the sandwich version of the salad Nicoise. You can find it in various forms all over the Mediterranean coast where it is made. And you make it ahead of time because in this case a little soggy is the plan.

1/2 loaf crusty French baguette
1 clove garlic, cut in half
4-6 basil leaves
1 (6oz) can Italian tuna packed in oil
3/4 cups Nicoise or Kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 jar or can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (optional)
1/4 cup blanched French green beans, sliced into thirds (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Remove some of the insides of the bottom half to create a trough into which the filling will go. Brush both halves with a little extra virgin olive oil. Rub each with the garlic. Line the half with the trough with the basil leaves. In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna, olives, red bell pepper, onion, parsley, artichoke hearts and green beans. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil until it is emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette into the tuna mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. When you are ready to assemble; spoon tuna mixture into the trough of the baguette over the basil leaves. Wrap sandwich well in plastic. Crush it down by placing a brick or heavy cast iron skillet and refrigerate, preferably with the weight, overnight. When hungry, cut sandwich in half. It tastes better if you are in France.