Literally bathed bread in the ancient dialect of Provence, pan bagnat delivers meat, bread, and salad all in one handful. You both brush the bread with oil and let the finished rolls sit for a few minutes to allow the dressing to permeate the bread and bathe it with flavor.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large, crusty rolls, cut in half
1 large clove garlic, cut in half
8 large, crisp lettuce leaves, such as Boston
2 large tomatoes, sliced thin
1 roasted chicken, bones and skin removed, meat shredded
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
1/3 cup black olives, such as Kalamata, halved and pitted
8 anchovy fillets (optional)
How to Make It
In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Whisk in the 1/3 cup of oil.
Remove the soft centers of the rolls, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Rub the garlic on the inside of each and brush with the 2 tablespoons oil.
Top the bottoms of the rolls with the lettuce. Layer with half the tomato slices and the chicken; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Top with half the slices of egg, onion, and bell pepper, and half the olives, and then drizzle with half the dressing. Repeat with the remaining tomato, chicken, 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper, egg, onion, bell pepper, olives, and dressing. Top with the anchovies, if using. Cover with the tops of the rolls. If you have time, wrap each roll tightly in aluminum foil; let sit for 10 minutes. Otherwise, press down on the rolls firmly so that the dressing moistens the bread.
Menu Suggestions: You really don't need anything with this, but roasted potato wedges would be nice.
Wine Recommendation: The south-of-France flavor of this sandwich is perfect with the delicate, herbal notes found in many rosés from Provence. Bottles from the Coteaux du Varois, Cassis, or Bandol would all be good possibilities.