Pain Bagnat: The French Tuna Sandwich

Say oui to this Tour de France-inspired delicacy

Words by Ryan Kunz | Recipe and styling by Elsa Riboldi | Photos by Bree Downs @breannadowns

This time of year, the cycling world turns its gaze toward the 2,000-mile odyssey of hills and headwinds called the Tour de France. It’s a world-class pilgrimage that propels some to glory and leaves others plastered to winding alpine roads. For those who prefer their French flavor with a little less saddle soreness, there’s always the pain bagnat—the French tuna sandwich.

Imagine if your typical American tuna sandwich gained a soft spot for fine wines, started driving a Peugeot, and discovered old Gérard Depardieu movies. The pain bagnat (pronounced like a nasal “pah bahnya”) is a treat for both the true Francophile and the simple connoisseur of good sandwiches. Pain is French for bread, and this particular pain is anything but painful to take along on your next adventure.

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
French baguette
1 (6 oz) can of tuna
3/4 kalamata olives (sliced)
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup parsley
6 leaves basil
3 T lemon juice
6 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
pinch of sea salt
dash of black pepper

artichoke hearts
sun-dried tomatoes
goat cheese

Begin by chopping peppers, onion, parsley and basil. In a mixing bowl, combine tuna and sliced olives. Add in your chopped vegetables and herbs.

In a separate bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Take the vinaigrette and pour over tuna mixture. Mix all together.

Slice French baguette lengthwise. Add tuna mixture in between the sliced bread. Layer arugula on top and enjoy your pain bagnat! Bon appétit!