Pan Bagnat

May 7, 2010  •  Category:

There is a French proverb I like: Qui se ressemble, s’assemble. (Birds of a feather flock together)
All of  the French friends I have  in the US are  from the South, in particular the city of  Nice.

I guess we have much in common.
The mediterranean, for one, the cuisine, the landscape, the outlook on  life and people in general.

My very dear friend, a Niçoise, Marcelle Dupuy  Orlic, gave me a present the other day, saying ” I know this is a book you will like

It is a cookbook on authentic, traditional cuisine from Nice, France; the recipes are in both French and Niçois, the dialect from Nice. The cookbook was  written by none other than the famous (former) mayor of that city, Jacques Médecin.

I felt like I had just been given a beautiful bracelet from Tiffani’s.
Reading this book, which also contains historical anecdotes on each Niçois dish, made me realize the huge influence that Niçoise cuisine has had, not only throughout France and Europe, but in  North America and the rest of the world as well. (Especially  in California, where the climate is similar).

Think: tapénade, the black olive and anchovy pesto from Nice, or ratatouille, or tian or salade niçoise, or  all the basil-flavored or artichoke or eggplant or swiss chard  dishes.
Did you know mesclun salad came from Nice? (mescla is a niçoisverb meaning to mix).

Take  Pan Bagnat, Nice‘s most famous sandwich; with its fresh fava beans, tiny fresh artichokes, green peppers and onions, basil, black olives, tomatoes and cucumbers, anchovies (or tuna) and hard-boiled eggs. Serve in a round 8-inch  bread with a garlic and olive oil dressing.

This could easily be from Beirut, judging by the ingredients. It is served in Beirut at a lot of  cafés, in different interpretations, as well as the salade niçoise, from which pan bagnat originated.
Pan Bagnat is not French, it is Niçois; (It means “wetted bread” in that dialect).
INGREDIENTS: 2 to 4 sandwiches
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and cut in slices
  • 1/2 cup of Niçoise olives or any small black olives
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic to rub the bread with
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 6 baby artichokes, steamed and hearts cut in slices (or use a can)
  • 6 small  baby onions (or scallions)
  • 1 small box of anchovies or a can of tuna, drained (or use anchovy paste)
  • 6 Basil leaves
  • 2 green pepper, sliced in rings
  • 1 cup of small fresh fava beans, steamed till tender
  • 2 or more small cucumbers, sliced
  • salt, pepper, as needed
  • a touch of lemon juice or vinegar
  • a touch of sumac (optional)


  1. Rub a cut garlic clove on the bread.
  2. Cut all the vegetables in slices and layer on the bread with the basil and the anchovies or the tuna.
  3. Dress the sandwich with some olive oil and a tiny bit of vinegar. Sprinkle some sumac (optional). Serve.

NOTE: Adding the sumac is my own Lebanese twist on it; a good way to incorporate it into the salad is to douse it on the sliced onions, or to mix it with the dressing.

Jacques Médecin is adamant that one should use either anchovies or tuna, never both!

Also, if you are wondering why it is called “wetted bread”, it is because originally bite-size bread croutons were doused in tomato juice and olive oil and added to the salade niçoise; this tradition evolved into a sandwich the pan bagnat, which was composed of  all the ingredients  of the salade niçoise.

Recipe for Pan Bagnat from La Cuisine du Comté de Nice de Jacques Médecin


60 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Magdalena says:

    When I enter your blog, there is always a new recipe waiting for me…I like pain bagnat, but even here you cannot get it everywhere…
    unfortunately, fava beans are not available in Paris yet.
    the weather is really awful and such freezing cold that I start to doubt that fava beans will appear this year…
    looks tasty and I am hungry, although dinner was rich (because of the weather)…

  2. The Nervous Cook says:

    What a coincidence — I just finished reading Calvin Trillin’s lovely “Feeding a Yen” (a collection of delightful stories about regional foods) and in it was a long piece about pan bagnat! It instantly got added to the list of foods I’m craving even though I’ve never tried them.

    (Also on that list right now: banh mi, fish tacos, Ethiopian food and stinky tofu.)

    Your pictures just make the craving worse!!

  3. Doc says:

    How absolutely fantastic. A galss of vino blanc and tres bien! Love the sumac touch, as you know I love experimenting with that flavor-thanks!

  4. recettes gourmandes says:

    halala comme j’adore ta recette, colorée,riche et cette belle présentation.c’est excelent , je suis toujours surprise par tes recettes et les histoires qui vont avec.
    merci joumana pour ce travail magnifique que tu fais et merci de nous faire partager tout ça.bisou

  5. Rosa says:

    It looks so tempting and delicious! I loove pan bagnat!



  6. Sook says:

    Oh wow, what a unique sandwich. Love the fillings like eggs and olives. Yum!

  7. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – I have been waiting to get on your blog all day – First to wish you HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY in time for Sunday!

    Also because I know that waiting will be a post that not only will have delightful food but also a story & information that I can learn so much from. You have just opened my eyes about all things Nice and how lovely a gift to receive from one’s closest friends.

    Wonderful post – fantastic mind blowing flavors. The sumac is a precious touch!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  8. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Haven’t heard of this before but I instantly like it. Really bold flavours.

  9. Sweets By Vicky says:

    All my favourite things in one lovely package just waiting for me to sink my teeth into! 🙂

    And YAYYY every girl loves Tiffany’s even if they say they dont. 🙂

  10. A Canadian Foodie says:

    YUM! Honestly? I have been there three times – only for 2 days each, and it is quite difficult to find these kinds of authentic dishes in restaurants… or it is for me. anyway. Fish – fresh fish is everywhere. And there was a special pizza type dish – I’ll have to look it up – specific to Nice… but, the salad, or the authentic flavours – I found it very multicultural. I love multicultural. but when you travel the world, you wan to find the flavours of the area easily in the area, and it was not easy for me. Have you have the same experience? I am sure, in the homes, it would be different.

  11. Romaine says:

    Your pictures are gorgeous. Making me hungry!

  12. Anita says:

    I have the same feeling when I receive a precious cooking book like that 🙂
    The sandwich sounds and looks scrumptious, it’s like a Mediterranean party in between bread slices.. I love it.

  13. SYLVIA says:

    I love tuna,This is a great way to get the veggies and protein all in one. and it looks very fancy, perfect anytime, there is a quaint cafe in the marina where they have pan bagnat on their menu, they serve it with chabata bread, but theirs does not look half as good. This is a definite winner Joumana.
    Tiffanys, not a bad idea, after all mothers day is just around the corner.

  14. Mimi says:

    A feast for the eyes as well as the mouth! Lots of fun information and flavors.

  15. Sonia says:

    Aha! Pan Bagnat is new to me…and it’s looks so good and tempt me now. I think i should try with veg version. Pics are totally drool-worthy. 🙂

  16. Cherine says:

    This looks so tempting!!!

  17. delices eyes says:

    Un pur bonheur ce pain bagnat…
    Bonne journée

  18. The London Foodie says:

    That is amazing, I had no idea that tapenade was from Nice! I love Nice as I lived in Genova as a studend (only an hour or so by train from Genoa) and was lucky enough to visit it a few times then. The sandwich pan bagnat looks amazing too, love anything with anchovies. The south (and South West) are my favourite areas of France too.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  19. Vanessa says:

    I’ve always loved pan bagnat. It reminds me of my trips to the South where the light was always so clear and beautiful. Your sandwich brings back those rays of sunshine.

  20. Sushma Mallya says:

    Wow lovely dish, looks so beautiful.would love to try this one…

  21. sab says:

    ça doit etre terrible

  22. oum mouncifrayan says:

    coucou, je suis de retour sur les blogs,

    merci de ce joli partage! bisous

  23. Katie says:

    What a gorgeous sandwich! I love all the flavors. I never would have thought of the fava beans – how wonderful. I don’t have the bread – but I could do this as a salad….. Yum!
    One of the challenges I didn’t know about before moving to Europe were the dialects. We, foolishly, thought everyone in Spain spoke Spanish (Castellano) and everyone in France spoke French. Now we know better….

  24. peteformation says:

    This food is new to me, but sure looks nice and healthy!

  25. grace says:

    i really love fava beans, but they’re so hard to find around here! this sandwich is FULL of good stuff–thanks for all the info. 🙂

  26. Joanne says:

    That cookbook sounds excellent and I can’t wait to see the things you create from it. I’ve never had a Pan Bagnat before, but between the artichokes and the olives and all of the other delicious ingredients…I know I would love it!

  27. Angie's Recipes says:

    That’s a GIANT burger loaded with treasures!

  28. Not Quite Nigella says:

    That is so fresh and so tempting and I have most of the ingredients in the fridge and pantry! Great idea Joumana! 🙂

  29. Evel@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    The sandwich is such a work of art visually I am not sure I would dare eat it….even if it sounds scrumptious.

  30. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A fabulous sandwich, sounds like a perfect weekend lunch!

  31. Erica says:

    I love coming to your blog!!!It is always something new and delicious here!What a wonderful dish! Amazing flavors.

  32. Miriam says:

    I think that book is much better than any Tiffany’s junk… for sure 😉

  33. citronetvanille says:

    Oh ben si tu me prend par les sentiments…le pan bagnat ca me rappelle le lycée et les déjeûners sur le pouce d’énormes pan bagnats de la boulangerie du coin! C’est bourratif mais tellement bon. J’adore ta versiona vec les fèves!

  34. Kitchen Butterfly says:

    It’s like a nicoise all in a sarnie. Love the boiled eggs in it!

  35. pierre says:

    le pan bagnat me rappelle Nice que j’adore !! Bizz de Paris Pierre

  36. Arlette says:

    this is a gorgeous meal… and I am really drilling over your photos..
    making me hungry and its past lunch time…

    Happy mother’s day Joumana… Allah Yekhaliki fouk Ras wladik Ya Rab.

  37. lisa says:

    Another fantastic recipe. This sandwich looks so delicious stuffed with all those wonderful crunchy veggies and spices. Lovely delicious flavors! Happy Mothers Day to you!

  38. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    C’est un excellent ouvrage ! Le Pan Bagnat est un de mes en-cas préférés … On en trouve souvent des moyens mais quand il est bon, truffé de légumes bien frais, qu’est-ce que c’est bon, un pan bagnat !

  39. marla says:

    I have never heard of this sandwich, thanks for sharing it with us. The fava beans are a very interesting ingredient, love the anchovies for flavor.

  40. Nadou says:

    Bonsoir, J’adore ta recette avec des fèves, je viens tout juste d’en recevoir de Tunisie, je sais comment les utiliser désormais;D…
    À bientôt
    Et j’adore ton blog

  41. sweetlife says:

    what a sweet friend to get your such a nice cookbook, this looks so delish, I love the combo of so many flavors, your pic is awesome, it looks so hubby would love this..thanks for sharing


  42. deana says:

    GOrgeous sandwich!!! SO many beautiful things in it.. you have inspired me utterly!!!

  43. Ciaochowlinda says:

    I’ve never seen fava beans in a pan bagnat, but it looks delicious. Your photos are beautiful too.

  44. Barbara Bakes says:

    What a thoughtful friend to know how much you’d love receiving a cookbook. The sandwich looks so fresh and tasty.

  45. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    This is so fresh and healthy. I had no idea that nicoise was ‘from Nice’.

  46. MaryMoh says:

    Looks very delicious. Love to see all the beans there. I have never seen beans in a sandwich but this just makes it look very healthy.

  47. sophia says:

    So I normally detest hard-boiled eggs, but this sandwich has my mouth watering. Wow, it looks SO good…and the flavor combinations! Awesome!

  48. brian_in_gib says:

    Yumm…I’m seriously liking this sandwich. One to try I think.
    Greetings from Gibraltar.

  49. Julie says:

    Ça me rappelle aussi mes pause-déjeuner d’étudiante, au moins c’est une manière de changer des sandwichs jambon-beurre et ça permet de manger des légumes. Ton pan bagnat me donne l’eau à la bouche, il a l’air bien frais!

    Gros bisous!

  50. Mathai says:

    yummy! it looks so light and refreshing!

  51. Jen_from_NJ says:

    I love cookbooks as gifts!

    What a beautiful sandwich! I love your addition of sumac – sounds perfect!

  52. Koko says:

    This sandwich looks amazing. I just love how you equate being given the cookbook to being given a ring from tiffany’s. Sometimes I feel the same way! But that’s a passion for food!

  53. tigerfish says:

    Look those pockets of beans, green and eggs 🙂

  54. OysterCulture says:

    This sandwich just looks amazing – I can see myself on a balcony somewhere, probably Nice, munching on this sandwich with a glass of wine close by, gazing out over the water. Carp – back to email – it was nice while it lasted, and that sandwich will be made sooner than later.

  55. Nadia says:

    I want to dive right into that sandwich. One of of childhood favorites is salade nicoise, with bread even better.

    It’s amazing how cookbooks and food can give us such joy and excitement. I am the same way.

  56. Sophie says:

    Hello Joumana!

    What a stunning & good for your health sandwich!! I so love broad beans!!


  57. TastyTrix says:

    I could eat this right up. I love it, and also because it has a certain spirit in common with one of my very favorite sandwiches, the Vietnamese banh mi, and that makes sense because of the French influence … anyway, yum, as always.

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