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$300 loan.

White Bean and Fontina Pan Bagnat

This recipe is a vegetarian spin on a traditional French sandwich.
white bean fontina sandwich
  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 10 minutes, plus up to two hours for optional chilling


  • 1 15-oz. can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small radishes, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 4 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 2 tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 crusty whole-grain bread loaf, unsliced (standard size)


Put the drained beans, radishes, olives, cheese, and basil in a large bowl and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, and red-pepper flakes.
Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and combine, stirring firmly to break up some of the beans. Let marinate at room temperature while you slice the bread.
Slice the loaf horizontally into three pieces, making the top and bottom pieces about an inch thick. Save the middle piece for another use. Carefully scoop or tear out about half an inch along the center of both the top and bottom pieces, creating channels for the filling.
Place the bottom piece on a 14-inch length of wax paper.
Pile the filling into the channel, then place the top piece on it and press closed. Wrap tightly with the wax paper. Once it’s wrapped, press down on it with your hands or place a cutting board on top to compress it slightly. If desired, place in the refrigerator with a weight on top for 20 minutes to two hours.
Slice the loaf into six portions and insert a toothpick into each sandwich to hold it together.
Serve at room temperature.

For more healthy sandwich recipes, see “Plant-Forward Sandwich Recipes.

Photography by: Terry Brennan; Food Styling: Betsy Nelson

Robin Asbell

Robin Asbell is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.


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