This is a most excellent sandwich. I don't know why I never think about beans, other than chickpeas, for a sandwich. That's sort of silly considering Latin influenced food uses beans and tortillas together all the time- sort of the same thing, right?
I suppose this has a bit of a French flair to it- a take on a Tuna Nicoise Sandwich (Pan Bagnat) but also sort of reminds me of a Muffalatta, a New Orleans sandwich staple that includes a distinctive olive salad, usually made in advance to let the flavors develop.
A friend shared this recipe on her Facebook wall; I thought it sounded both delicious and interesting so I made my own version of it. It took no time at all to put together if you don't count the time needed to press the sandwich (anywhere from 1-24 hours).
It was insanely delicious not to mention packed with protein and fiber. The flavor if the beans, olives and citrus in this recipe combine beautifully as a sandwich base. From there you can really add just about anything you like into the mix- I chose some roasted red peppers and onion. Even bean hating Mr. Meat and Potatoes liked this one.
This really is the perfect dish to make for a get together; you can do it the night before and simply slice and serve for your gathering. Casual and simple yet elegant in it's simplicity.
White Bean Nicoise Sandwich
1 long French baguette cut lengthwise in half
15 oz cooked cannellini beans (if using canned be sure to drain and rinse first)
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
3/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
In a bowl add the beans, roasted red pepper, onion and kalamata olives and salt and pepper. Using a potato masher lightly mash all ingredients together until the beans are just breaking apart.
Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in a small dish until emulsified. Set aside.
Using your fingers remove some of the interior soft bread from the baguette halves in order to make a well for your filling.
Add the olive oil and lemon dressing to the bean and olive mixture, stir well and reseason with salt and pepper if needed.
Drizzle each baguette half with some olive oil and fill the well on one side of the baguette with the bean mixture. Place basil leaves across the top and then top with the other slice of baguette. Wrap in plastic and set heavy bricks, books or other objects on top to press the sandwich.
Press for an hour or overnight (if pressing overnight be sure to place in the refrigerator).
Slice and serve.