Pan Bagna

March/April 1997, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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In the Provencal dialect, "pan bagna" means "moist bread." In this lightened version of the classic Mediterranean sandwich, a filling of hard-boiled eggs is seasoned with pungent black olives, mustard and a subtle hint of anchovy. For a truly great sandwich, use the best-quality bread you can find.

"This receipe made a very tasty and quick lunch. I did not use the anchovy as indicated but none the less enjoyed the sandwich Thanks for sharing! Hemant "
Pan Bagna

Makes: 4 sandwiches

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, Walla Walla or Maui, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 22-inch-long baguette, preferably whole-grain
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 imported black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup mesclun, or lamb's lettuce (mâche) (see Ingredient note)


  1. Hard-boil eggs (see Tip). Peel when cool enough to handle. Set aside one of the yolks for the dressing. Coarsely chop the remaining eggs.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until very tender and light golden, 10 to 20 minutes. (Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water if onions are browning too quickly.)
  3. Cut baguette into 4 equal lengths. Split each piece in half horizontally. Pull out the soft bread from the center of each piece, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shells. Place soft bread in a food processor or blender and process to form fine crumbs. Measure out 1/2 cup of crumbs (reserve the rest for another use).
  4. Mash garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt with the side of a chef's knife. Transfer to a medium bowl. (Alternatively, mash garlic and salt in a mortar with a pestle.) Add reserved egg yolk and mash with a fork. Whisk in mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste and remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Fold in parsley, olives, reserved chopped eggs and breadcrumbs. Season with pepper.
  5. To assemble sandwiches, spread the caramelized onions over the bread-shell bottoms. Mound the egg mixture over the onions. Top with mesclun (or lamb's lettuce) and replace bread tops.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator or in a cooler with a cold pack for up to 8 hours.
  • Ingredient note: You can make your own mesclun by combining your choice of tender greens, both bitter and mild.
  • Tip: To make hard-cooked eggs: Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Pour off hot water and run cold water over the eggs until completely cooled. To peel, crack the shell, then roll egg between your palms to loosen shell. Peel, starting at the large end. Rinse under cold water or dip in water to remove bits of shell.


Per sandwich: 165 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 163 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 1 g fiber; 443 mg sodium; 184 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: 11 mg vitamin c (20% dv), 15% dv vitamin a.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

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Recipe Categories


Type of Dish
Main dish, Other
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique
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