Monaco cuisine is rich and very European, but also heavily Mediterranean influenced. Pan Bagnat, considered by many to be Monaco’s national dish, is their version of the hearty, stuffed with meat and veggies sandwich. That recipe is our first offering (of several more to come soon) below.
Many tourists think of Monaco as a small extension of France. But Monaco cuisine, has its own distinct character, with lots of fresh fish and seafoods, rice, olive oil, breads and fresh vegetables comprising the main ingredients. The fishing industry provides Monaco with one of its main sources of income, with the Mediterranean sea and the Nice River in close proximity to it.
So let’s get started, shall we? Off we go to this tiny country, for a taste of authentic and traditional …
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 (5-oz.) can tuna, packed in olive oil, drained of oil and patted dry
- 4 scallions, peeled and sliced thin
- ½ red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, cut into 2” long, thin slices
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
- 4 large hearty whole grain sandwich buns
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced thin crosswise
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced thin crosswise
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced thin crosswise
- 8 olive oil packed anchovie fillets, drained and patted dry
- 10 pitted, whole black olives, cut in half
- Freshly ground coarse sea salt and black peppercorns, to taste
- Season the tomato slices generously with salt, and place them in a colander, set aside to drain for half an hour at least.
- In a small mixing bowl, break the tuna apart with a fork, then stir in the bell pepper and scallions, then set aside.
- Using another small mixing bowl, whisk together mustard and oil—this is your dressing. Set it aside for now.
- Chop the sandwich buns in half, and scoop out a bit of the bread, making a shallow depression. You may want to reserve the removed bread for use in other recipes. If not, then just discard.
- Place a layer of tomatoes in the depression of the bottom halves of the buns, then layer as follows:
- First the fennel, then the cucumbers; top the cukes with the tuna mixture, then goes the egg sliced, followed by the anchovies and lastly the olives. When you are done layering, you should have a mound of ingredients, which will be accepted by the depression you’ve created in the bun top halves.
- Drizzle the dressing evenly over all the ingredients, and season to taste with fresh ground salt and pepper
- Place the bun top halves over all 4 sandwiches, and press down a bit to compact them together.
- Wrap each sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and place all 4 tight together on a baking pan. Place another pan on top of the sandwiches and place a heavy weight—such as a heavy cast-iron skillet, or even some bricks, anything that works—on top, to provide a good downward pressure on the sandwiches.
- Make room in the refrigerator, and pop the whole assembly into it, and chill for at least 4 hours—overnight is even better—before serving your Monaco Cuisine national dish, Pan Bagnat sandwiches.
For more Monaco cuisine dishes, click on the recipes below:
Coquille Saint Jacques (Seared Sea Scallops with Sauce and Herbs)
Frutti di Mare (Seafood Linguini)
Salmon a la Provencale (Almond crusted and baked Salmon)
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