Sandwich for Fishing To – Pan Bagnat

Bathed Sandwich (pain bagne or pan bagnat) with pressing device still aboard
Bathed Sandwich (pain bagne or pan bagnat) with pressing device still aboard

A fly fishing friend passed this on to me. He makes the sandwich, presses it, puts it in his vest pocket and goes fishing. It’s easy to make, tastes great, and dense in calories. (Think of it as the tasty version of a protein bar.) It keeps at least 8 hrs, and we’d both let it go longer.

He got the idea from an article by Melissa Clark in the New York Times. It makes a great lunch, from some pretty basic ingredients.

My version is a couple of slices of City Rye, a couple of slices of genovese salami or capicolo, a couple of tomato slices, some chopped onion, some de-seeded cuke (when I use English cukes I don’t bother de-seeding.) As many black olives as I want (pitted obviously). Drizzle some olive oil on the bread. Add the ingredients. Drizzle with oil as you feel the urge. Press.

As you can see by the above, a 7 year old makes a good weight. Ms. Clark uses a kettle filled with water, apparently feeling in her old age, she is no longer useful as a weight. I typically use two nesting plates, a heavy brass mortar with two 4 lb. dive weights in it.)

Any sandwich works really. My friend adds sliced red pepper. I’ve added cooked chickpeas. I suspect you can make it out of just about anything. I intend to experiment with avocado in the near future.

Go for it. You really can’t go wrong. I usually eat mine with a nice cool bardolino. (Leave the bottle in the water beside you and it’ll be at the right temperature.) The mustard is too sharp for any but the toughest whites. Rose is a better bet.

If you want to replicate the NYT version the recipe is here. Ms. Clark’s original article is here. It’s essentially a salad nicoise in a bun.

Personally, I’d use more olive oil than Ms. Clark. You needn’t fuss with the rest of the dressing, but go for it. I often substitute grated cheese for the boiled egg.

– With many thanks to Riley, ace presser, and Ron.


  1. Alas, her personal handler needs to accompany her on all house calls. But if you’re going to be in the ‘Peg, I can set you up with a pressing…

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