Pan Bagnat (Niçoise Salad Sandwich)

Essentially a Niçoise salad in sandwich form, the pan bagnat is sold at nearly every outdoor market in Nice, France, as well as at bakeries and restaurants. For this version, tuna is pureed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, anchovies, and garlic to form a unique sandwich spread inspired by tonnato sauce. Spreading a tangy tuna dressing on the cut sides of the ciabatta allows it to get absorbed into the bread, giving the sandwich plenty of flavor while also making it easier to eat.

Nicoise Salad Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 4 large eggs

  • 14 ounces canned tuna in olive oil (from 4 [5-ounce] cans), drained (about 2 cups)

  • ½ cup  red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 anchovy fillets (from 1 [2-ounce] can), drained

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ciabatta loaf, split horizontally

  • 1 cup multicolored pitted olives, halved if large

  • 2 medium beefsteak tomatoes (about 10 ounces each), cored and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 small red onion (about 6 ounces), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 1/4 cups) 

  • 4 large radishes, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1/3 cup)

  • 4 large or 6 medium Bibb lettuce leaves (from 1 head lettuce)

  • 12 large fresh basil leaves


  1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water; bring to a boil over high. Carefully lower eggs into boiling water; cook, undisturbed, 8 minutes. Pour off water, reserving eggs in saucepan; add ice water to cover eggs. Let eggs cool completely, about 10 minutes. Drain and peel eggs. Cut each egg lengthwise into 3 slices. Set aside.

  2. Combine tuna, vinegar, oil, anchovies, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor; process just until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides using a spatula as needed. Spread tuna mixture evenly onto cut sides of ciabatta halves. Scatter olives on bottom ciabatta half. Top with sliced eggs, tomatoes, onion, and radishes; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with lettuce and basil. Cover with top ciabatta half. Cover sandwich with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Place a baking sheet on top of sandwich, and place a skillet on top of baking sheet to weigh it down. Let sandwich stand 10 to 20 minutes. Cut crosswise into 4 sandwiches, and serve.

Make Ahead

Eggs may be boiled and chilled up to 2 days in advance. Peel and slice just before assembling sandwich.

Suggested Pairing

Light-bodied French white: Hugues Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet

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