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I'm gonna show you how to make the world's most famous tuna sandwich, which is really the world's most famous tuna salad, the Niçoise, stuffed and pressed inside a whole loaf of bread. According to people who consider things, this is considered the ultimate picnic sandwich, since it has to be made ahead, and the longer it sits in its own juices, the better.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
8 hrs
8 hrs 30 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir garlic into the olive oil and set aside.

  • Partially hollow out the bread by pulling out about 50% of the insides. Brush the bread very generously with the garlic olive oil, reserving about 1 tablespoon for later use.

  • Begin building the sandwich by placing a layer of sliced tomatoes on the bottom half, covering it completely. Season with salt and pepper. Top with sliced onion, olives, and banana peppers.

  • Crumble the tuna over the top, pressing down slightly so it stays in place. Be sure to go as close to the edges as possible. Top with anchovy filets, capers, sliced eggs, and basil leaves. Top with another layer of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinegar and reserved garlic olive oil.

  • Place the top half of the loaf on and press firmly to compress the ingredients. Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil, ending with seams at the top.

  • Place into a large pan and place a sheet pan over the top. Weigh down with heavy cans, pots, a cast iron pan, or a cutting board, to press the sandwich as evenly as possible.

  • Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or up to overnight, turning halfway through if possible. Unwrap, slice, and serve.

Chef's Notes:

The French say this sandwich is not properly done unless there is oil dripping from it when you're eating, so don't be shy with the oil. Also, the longer it sits in the fridge being pressed, the better.

You can use a flatter loaf, such as ciabatta instead of a French loaf.

You can use any vinegar of your choice.

You can use any fresh, roasted, or pickled pepper you like instead of banana peppers, and add any ingredient you like, such as artichoke hearts, sliced fennel, or maybe some blanched green beans.

Nutrition Facts

562 calories; protein 26.5g; carbohydrates 46.9g; fat 30.1g; cholesterol 105.2mg; sodium 1286.6mg. Full Nutrition