Recipes of Provence
The Provençal sandwich - Pan Bagnat
The name means, in Provençal, soaked bread. The soaking is done with vinaigrette, and the filling is a close
relative of Salade Niçoise. If the round, crusty pan bagnat rolls are not available (hamburger buns won't do;
too soft), use baguettes. Count three servings per baguette on the average.
1 onion, thinly sliced, divided into rings
Butter to spread on the bread
2 heads of Boston lettuce
2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained
13 pitted black olives, cut in pieces
2 cans flat fillets of anchovies (optional)
4 hardboiled eggs
Press tomatoes to expel extra liquid, slice. Peel cucumbers, remove seeds, and slice. Split and open baguettes;
remove and reserve some of the white center part.
Spread butter thinly and evenly on both faces of the bread and line with lettuce leaves
(this will prevent the vinaigrette from soaking through). On top of the lettuce, arrange flaked tuna, cucumber and tomato slices, and onion rings. Scatter pieces of olive and anchovies (if desired) on top. Soak the reserved white part of the bread in vinaigrette and spread all along the sandwich.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until time to eat. It will be easier to cut when cold.
For a picnic
Fruit salad, or peeled and cubed cantaloupe in individual plastic bags
Individually wrapped cheese and crackers
Cupcakes or cookies or slices of chocolate cake
Pruneaux au Rhum (Prunes in Rum: a variation on the Confiture de Vieux Garçon)
This version of the Confiture uses dried prunes, so you can make it any time of the year. The method is different here, because dried fruit must first be plumped in hot
liquid, otherwise they'll harden and shrivel in alcohol.
Use large, pitted prunes. Place them in a bowl. Pour enough strong, hot, well-sweetened tea to cover. Let stand, covered, overnight, unrefrigerated.
By next day, most of the tea will have been absorbed. Pour out any leftover liquid. Place prunes in jar and pour enough dark rum to cover. Close with lid.
Your pruneaux will be ready to eat in three days. They will keep for months in a cool, dark place.
You can serve the pruneaux in brandy snifters, with coffee. You can also serve them with ice cream or in pastries.
Note: In the southwest of France, Armagnac is used, and Pruneaux a l'Armagnac are a specialty of the city of Agen.