I made this sandwich once before, a year or so ago. But by the time I remember this excellent use of eggplant I had to go buy green beans from the store (the shame; ah well I had to pick up the bread, the tapenade and roasted red peppers too). Yet again I fall into the trap of buying more food to use up one piece of produce from our CSA share (however I was good and bought only the amount of green beans and red pepper that I needed, plus it is awesome to have olive tapenade in the fridge, aka condiment city). Also, we find the little short demi baguette the perfect size for two modest sandwiches (half the recipe).
This sandwich is both overly complicated and fairly simple. When I make it I think “good grief there are a lot of steps involved in making this”, but later I forget all that and remember that in the end it goes together fairly quickly (at least everything can be prepped while the eggplant is in the oven). When we made it for lunch two days later it was even faster as all the remaining sandwich fillings were waiting in the fridge. I’ve never managed to actually follow the recipes advice of letting this sandwich sit for the juices to be absorbed into the bread and I still think it is yummy.
Veggie Pan Bagnat from Vegetarian Times July 2006.