Set the Net

Recipes and snapshots of life in Bristol Bay, AK

This sandwich is as delicious as it is pretty, filled with Bristol Bay catches, bold, simple flavors, and fresh market goodies. Canned salmon and Deckhand Seafoods Togiak Smoked Herring are the flavor base on a crusty baguette.

Traditionally this nicçoise salad sandwich features anchovies and tuna but in Bristol Bay where jarred salmon lines my pantry shelves and smoked herring is a treat to be savoured, this version tastes like French cuisine come home. The key to making it something special is using good quality ingredients especially the bread, mustard, and fish. 

Salmon is what Bristol Bay is known for when it comes to commercial catch but beyond that we have a large herring fishery, a small boat CDQ longline halibut fleet, as well as many offshore large boat fleets targeting cod and pollock. Herring, namely Togiak herring, come inshore to spawn each spring and while that fishery is prosecuted right outside our doorstep, accessing it is nearly impossible for the average resident of Bristol Bay. This fishery is targeting the herring for their roe which is bound for Japanese markets with the meat only as an after thought. Not by Deckhand Seafoods though, whose small batch smoking and canning of this underrated fish is hoping to put Togiak herring on the map or at least on your plate. Warner Lew, who by day is our commercial salmon fishery fleet manager, is in his off time Deckhand Seafoods owner and operator. This summer he gave me a few cans of his herring while in town and I have been scheming since then regarding the best way to employ them… these sandwiches could not have been better served! 

Now don’t panic if you don’t have a line on this smoked herring – canned anchovies will be a tasty replacement, but if you’re in Seattle you can find it in a few small shops and restaurants or you can look them up on Facebook!

The result is a glorious sandwich. Something to be enjoyed with a cold beer, in the warm Fall sunshine, with good friends.

Bristol Bay Salmon & Smoked Herring Pan Bagnat 

You’ll need:

  • One 16-18 inch baguette, cut lengthwise (I make my own using this Sheaf of Wheat Bread recipe without the fancy shaping, if in Anchorage though I never pass up the option of a loaf from Fire Island Bakeshop)
  • 1 pint jar or can of good quality canned salmon, caught wild preferably in Bristol Bay 
  • 1 – 2 ounce can of Deckhand Seafoods Smoked Herring 
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sundries tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 16-18 fresh basil leaves 
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved  
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled & sliced thin 
  • One large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced 
  • Stone ground mustard 
  • Fresh ground pepper & flaked sea salt 

To make:

Drain your salmon and herring cans of excess oil, flake lightly with a fork and assemble your other ingredients. Split your baguette lengthwise and generously spread both side with mustard. On the bottom half spread out your spinach, top next with the flaked salmon and herring. Proceed from there layering on the rest of your ingredients with the hard boiled eggs and fresh tomatoes* last. Finish with salt and pepper to taste. 

I know the photographed sandwich lacks the hard boiled eggs… by the time I realized it I had already started in on mine so you’ll just have to forgive me for skimping you on the photo glory and make it yourself! 

*If you do not plan eat your Pan Bagnat right away refrain from putting the fresh tomato on until just before serving to prevent it from becoming soggy. Also don’t cut your sandwich until serving time as your greens will brown rapidly once cut. To keep, tightly wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and store in fridge up to 24 hours. 

**This is not a sponsored post, Deckhand Seafoods Smoked Herring is just that good that I wanted you to know about… Because at the end of the day good products from Bristol Bay make me proud! 

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