Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Tartines - 3 ways

Working at a Bakery, I am lucky enough to have access to the most incredible breads. To the exasperation of those I have the pleasure of eating with, I have become a complete and utter bread snob. I talk more about open crumbs, crackling crusts and proving dough than I should like to admit. It's just, when the topic has risen, I knead to make sure I prove my point. I don't want to be too floury on the topic, but I can't let my friends bread knowledge go a-rye. It is, after all, how I bring in the dough.

Now, tartines are generally defined as a French open-faced sandwich, especially with a rich, elaborate or fancy topping. This pleases me greatly. Tartine toppings should always, always be fancy. Chez Antoinette  know that rule. Chez Antoinette, a gorgeous, vintage Tartinerie in Covent Garden have very much hit the nail on the head with their incredibly scrumptious and indulgent tartines. I have, therefore, decided to use the same bread as they use, a pain de campagne sourdough. If you're lucky enough to have access to a farmers market or a bakery where they have a French style sourdough then please, run along, right this minute. Waste no more of your time on that simple, pathetic, sorry excuse for a loaf you've been eating until now (yes I'm being presumptuous here).

Tartine's are all about the simple but wonderful ingredients and it is very important to get yourself high quality bits and pieces. This idea for tartines sprung to me in an organic grocers where I saw these amazingly colourful heirloom tomatoes. Pretty food. Tasty food. Bacon. That's pretty much how my train of thought went, and so brought you the three tartine recipes you see below. You'll recognise a lot of these as classic flavour combinations with a notes of bacon twist. Feel free to adapt to your taste!

They may not be very in line with the gluten free, vegan, raw trends going around but let me tell you - use the best quality, locally sourced ingredients (where possible) and you will have some gorgeous, natural and healthy tartines. What's not to love?

Important: You will notice that I have put NO quantities on the ingredients list. The quantities are very dependent on your preference as a tartine lover. You can see my quantities in the photos, I like to pack on the goods, but you may want more delicate amounts. 

1. Pancetta, goats cheese and fig


Pain de campagne or wheaten sourdough, sliced
Streaky pancetta
Goats cheese log (or soft goats cheese)
Ripe figs


1. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and cook the pancetta until crispy. I used 5 slices for one large tartine. 
2. Toast your toast to your preference. 
3. Thinly slice the goats cheese log and the figs.
4. Place the goats cheese on the toast (spread if it's the soft version), followed by crispy pancetta sliced and sliced figs. Enjoy.

2. Finocchiona, parmesan and rocket


Pain de campagne or wheaten sourdough, sliced
Finocchiona (fennel salami)


1. Toast your toast to your preference. 
2. Thinly slice your finocchiona.
3. Shave of some large parmesan curls. 
4. Layer the finocchiona, rocket then parmesan onto the sourdough. Enjoy

3. Heirloom cherry tomatoes, balsamic pickled red onion, basil


Pain de campagne or wheaten sourdough, sliced
Cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom, cause they look pretty)
Large fresh basil leaves
*Balsamic pickled red onion (or less thinly sliced red onion mixed with a touch of balsamic) - See recipe below


1. Make your balsamic pickled red onion.
2. Toast your toast to your preference.
3. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice your cherry tomatoes.
4. Pick your basil leaves. 
5. Using a fork, lift some pickled red onions out of the jar and arrange across the base of the toast. Top with heirloom tomato slices and lots of basil then sprinkle on a few capers. 

The basil is very important as the sweetness really compliments the tart pickled onion. Delish.

*Balsamic pickled red onion recipe (makes one jar)


4 small red onions, halved and thinly sliced
100ml balsamic vinegar
150ml white wine vinegar
100ml water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

1. Combine white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the eat and simmer for three minutes. 

2. Add the red onion. Simmer red onion for 6-7 minutes until just tender. Remove the red onion with a slotted spoon to a separate container and continue to cook the vinegar for a few minutes. 
3. Remove vinegar from the heat and stir in balsamic vinegar. Pour over red onions and leave for at least 15 mins before using.