Salmon Pan Bagnat

The inspiration: Leftover salmon, gorgeous mixed greens, and wanting to make a quick and easy meal

Leftovers- you have to love them or hate them. Every Shabbat, I prepare baked salmon for my family and there is always some leftover on Sunday. But I was tired of making my usual salmon-with couscous, salmon-with-rice, or salmon-with-pasta using the leftovers. I wanted something with bold flavor, something that would use my leftovers and I wouldn’t have to do more than make a knife (or my hands) dirty.

The innovation: Substituting salmon for tuna, gherkins for cornichons

Pan Bagnat is the classical tuna and vegetable sandwich of southern France. Traditionally, it has hard-boiled eggs, mixed greens or romaine lettuce, roasted squash or peppers (maybe both), cornichons or Nicoise olives and canned tuna. However, like much of Provencal cuisine, the one hand and fast rule is to use whatever is the freshest, the best tasting – and what you have on hand. Works for me! I had salmon to use up, as well as some delicious vegetables and greens. Cornichons add a slightly sour/tart taste that works in perfect contrast to the Dijon in the vinaigrette, but since I was using mixed greens that were slightly bitter and the Dijon together, I was sure the gherkins would add a welcome sweet/tartness to the pan bagnat. You can always omit the gherkins, but I wouldn’t recommend substituting pickle spears or sour pickles. If anything, if you don’t like pickles, add Nicoise or Kalamata olives or capers for a similar taste profile.

My interpretation: Salmon Pan Bagnat

pan bagnat


For the vinaigrette:

2 heaping tsp genuine Dijon mustard 

1 and 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar 

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together, set aside in fridge to chill 

For the pan bagnat:

1/2 of a French baguette

1 baked or grilled salmon fillet, about 6 oz, already cooked and cooled

large handful of mixed greens

1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into slices

1 Roma (plum) tomato, cut into slices

2 gherkin pickles cut in half lengthwise 

Olive oil to brush on baguette

Sea Salt 

Black Pepper

To prepare:

1) Brush the insides of the baguette with a light layer of olive oil and sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt and black pepper on top

2) Mix the vinaigrette with the mixed greens til coated very lightly and add to the baguette. You may have extra dressing – that is fine, save it.

3) One layer at a time, add in the cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles.

4) Flake the cooled salmon into large pieces and add to the baguette. 

5) If desired, add the remaining vinaigrette. At this point, it is traditional to wrap the sandwich tightly in foil and refrigerate for an hour.  However, if you are hungry- bon apetite!  




Leftovers Make Lazy Sunday Suppers: Lemon Sesame Salmon Rice Salad

The inspiration:  An article in a recent Cook’s Illustrated, leftover salmon, and what my children wanted for supper.

I was reading a recent article in Cook’s Illustrated about cold rice salads. I’ve eaten cold rice salads – they’re delicious when done well. Keeping my audience in mind (my family) I kept it rather simple.

The innovation: A dish that is traditionally served hot, turning it into a salad and serving it cold.

Most people would think to serve salmon fillet, with a side of rice mixed with peas and carrots hot. I’d agree with them – if I was making the salmon the same day. I was using leftover salmon, and once I cook fish, I will not reheat it. It’s a personal thing – I am very wary of reheating proteins (especially fish) after they have been cooked and sitting in my fridge for a day.

I had several beautiful pieces of lemon-sesame salmon leftover, and when my kids requested “Mommy’s salmon and rice” for supper, I knew I wanted to make this. It’s hot outside, and the kids are in and out all day – something cold and easy to make was the ideal here.

My interpretation: Lemon- Sesame Salmon Rice Salad



Recipe for Salmon:

4 boneless salmon fillets (each one about 4-6 oz)

Juice from 2 fresh lemons

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sesame Seeds

Lay the fillets on a baking sheet (skin side down), and cover with lemon juice, salt, pepper and a thin, single layer of sesame seeds. ( Too many seeds and some will toast and some won’t) Bake at 350F for approximately 15 mins or until fish is cooked through but not dry. When fish is scraped with a fork, it should flake easily, and should look moist. Cool completely, then remove skin.


Rice with Peas and Carrots

3 C basmati rice, rinsed

5 cups vegetable stock

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

16 oz package of frozen peas and carrots

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add all the ingredients except the peas and carrots. Bring almost to a boil, then add peas and carrots. Bring to a boil, stir, then lower to a bare simmer. Cook covered for 25 mins, or until rice is soft. Turn off fire, leave sit for 10 mins, then transfer to a sheet pan. Spread out over sheet pan to cool, breaking any clumps of rice gently with your hands or a wooden spoon.

In a large pan, take the salmon and break into pieces, but do not mash – when you add the rice the fish will further break apart. Add the rice in batches, folding in the fish as you go.  Taste and readjust for seasoning at this point. This recipe makes 1 very full 9×13 disposable aluminum pan.  Refrigerate fully, and serve either cold straight from the fridge or at room temperature.