Casse-Croûte Tunisien (Tunisian Tuna Sandwich)
You’ll need both hands for this deliciously overstuffed North African lunchtime treat.
You’ll need both hands to eat this overstuffed tuna sandwich, lavished with fiery condiments and stacks of fixings, a North African take on a French pan bagnat. This recipe comes from Tunisian lunch counter Chez René et Gabin in Paris. This recipe first appeared in our November 2012 issue along with Jay Cheshes's story Couscous Royale.
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- One 15-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained, crushed by hand
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Portuguese or hero rolls (8 in. each)
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 1 medium ripe tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced
- Two 5-oz. cans tuna in oil, drained and flaked
- ½ cups pitted black olives
- ¼ cups capers, rinsed
- 4 pepperoncini, stemmed and halved lengthwise
- ½ cups harissa, or to taste
To a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil, garlic, onion, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 10–12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, season with salt and black pepper, and remove from the heat.
Assemble the sandwiches: Leaving one side intact, split the rolls horizontally. Divide the tomato sauce among the rolls, spreading it in an even layer, then top—in the following order—with the potatoes, tomato, cucumber, tuna, olives, capers, and pepperoncini. Drizzle with harissa to taste, halve the sandwiches crosswise, and serve.