Monday, August 17, 2009

Pan Bagna

It's so hot and close right now that is is actually pleasantly unpleasant. It is so horrible that you revel in it. New York in August. Fuggedaboudit.

I didn't know what to make for supper last night, but I had the fixin's for gazpacho. Tomatoes, red pepper, cucumbers. Just that gazpacho didn't seem enough to fill all the empty corners...then I remembered the square breadrolls.

Ha! I dipped into Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables and looked for pan bagna. Or was it the other way round? Saw the pan bagna and remembered the rolls?

She said it should be soggy. Pan is bread, bagna is bath. Soggy and cold sounded pretty good. Cold bath on hot day.


I sliced and salted some red peppers and cucumber, peeled. Also a clove of garlic, sliced thinly. Let them stand in fridge, covered. Sliced red onion, and tomato, thickly - some peeled, from the gazpacho. Chopped a couple of anchovy fillets. Took from the fridge the chive oil made a few days ago from a huge bundle of my terrace chives, and...what else did I do: oh, lightly boiled some nice brown eggs. And picked basil.

Toasted the rolls, and split. Put on: tomato, wilted red pepper and cucumber, onion, anchovy, herbs, chive oil, salt and pepper, dribbled over quite a lot of EV olive oil, and balanced the eggs, carefully halved (runny yolks) next door, as they would not stay on top. While we lapped up gazpacho and ice cubes, the sandwiches sat and soaked.

They were awfully good. Messy, sloppy, drippy.


  1. Oh, but that sounds perfect.

    The heat is beyond unpleasant here. Well, except that I am not subjected to that special NYC summertime entity known as "garbage juice" aroma. I'll deal with a little stagnant fishy bay breeze any day. :)

  2. Ha! Eat your heart out Franck.
    Anything you can do etc etc

  3. After being in VT for six weeks, we are stunned by the heat and humidity in SW CT. Feeling lethargic and a wee bit sad. Henry flops himself under the ceiling fan and sighs.

    Last night we had just a big green salad full of chopped veg. It was all we could muster. Or imagine eating.

    Your Pan Bagna looks just right for this time of year.

  4. being nearly tomato-less here in new england unless we take out a 2nd mortgage, we have been living on your watermelon salad (with watermelons now). we will definitely try the pan bagna, with anchovies hidden away from g/f. (who gobbled up bagna cauda, btw.) but she is german, so anything with bread will do. thanks for the great idears!!

  5. Heat....come on down to middle Tennessee where the temps are in the mid 80s and the humidity makes it feel like 120. I can't seem to make myself leave this place!!
    This looks so divine...may have to do this one soon!!


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