Sunday, August 22, 2010


It took all of my restraint to not title this post "Who you callin' a tartine?!"

What is a tartine you may ask?  It's a fancy French way of saying open-faced sandwich.  Doesn't that sound so much nicer in French?  "What's for dinner, honey?"  "Tartines, ooh la la!"  vs. "What's for dinner, honey?"  "Part of a sandwich."

The benefits of making tartines are many: You don't have to turn on the oven; they are light; you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand and each person can customize their own.  Add a handful of lightly dressed greens and you have a perfect summer meal.

My one requirement-you must have a good bread for this.  I like a crusty whole grain loaf and I like to slice it myself.  You will be sorely disappointed if you attempt to "tartine" (ooh, look-I created my own verb) with a plastic wrapped sandwich bread.  The bread won't have enough crunch and it won't hold up your toppings.  And you will be totally not French and cool.

So how to tartine?  It's a no-recipe recipe but here's what I did.  Slice that bread and toast it.  Spread a slice with soft goat cheese and top with slow-roasted tomatoes and prosciutto.  For the next tartine, top the toasted bread with Dijon mustard, ricotta cheese and diced, oven-roasted zucchini and onions.  Finish with some grated lemon zest. (This one was inspired by Sprouted Kitchen).

Fresh farmer's market ricotta

And my kids favorite tartine?  Top the toasted bread with a little mayo and Dijon mixed together, mash some avocado on top of that, sprinkle the avocado with a little lemon juice and add a crunch of sea salt flakes.  They call it "avocado toast".  I really need to teach them some French.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Plum (Roma) tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Pinch of sugar (if needed)

1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
2. Core and cut tomatoes in half. Drizzle generously with olive oil, then salt and pepper.  If your tomatoes are not at the peak of the season you can add pinches of sugar as well.
3. Place tomatoes face down on foil lined baking sheet.  Roast for 90 min.
4. Flip tomatoes over and add more olive oil if needed and a touch more salt. You can also add thyme, minced garlic or any other seasonings you like.
5. Continue to roast for 2-3 hours or until tomatoes have collapsed.
6. Transfer to a container.  Be sure to get all the oil and juices left in the pan as well.  If needed, cover with more olive oil.
7. Refrigerate and use with one week.

Oven Roasted Zucchini & Onions

5 zucchini, diced
1 large onion, sliced
1-2 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch dice.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Cut onion in 1/2 thick slices, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
3. Roast zucchini on sheet pan for 35 minutes, tossing occasionally.
4. Add onions and roast for another 20 minutes or until zucchini is no longer giving off liquid and is caramelized and browning. (Note: If you add the onions earlier, they will burn.  At this point you could also add garlic as long as you leave it in large pieces, i.e. a clove cut in half.)

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