Tartines, the French answer to open-faced sandwiches, are a perfect quick lunch for the busy boss babe, and a charming appetizer at any dinner party. They’re elegant but unpretentious, effortless but impressive. It’s a simple formula: lightly toasted bread and whatever toppings your heart desires (or whatever you have around the house!). You set out a tray of these pretty bites, and you’re bound to become the most popular person in the room.
Start with bread or crackers – the traditional base is French sourdough, but I’m partial to a baguette fresh from the bakery. Slice your bread into rounds, brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and crisp in the oven until the edges are brown. Once they’ve cooled a little, get creative with your toppings!
A classic pairing is cheese and fruit, but you can use anything you’d like. Preserves, pickles, herbs, meats, roasted or fresh veggies, all sorts of spreads, even chocolate or citrus for a unique dessert. If you’re not quite up for experimenting yet, here are a few tried-and-true combinations to get you started.
1. Figs, rosemary, & goat cheese
Mild, sweet figs, woodsy rosemary, and tangy goat cheese make for a robust and earthy bite.
2. Strawberry, black pepper, & ricotta
If you’ve never tried strawberries dusted with black pepper, you are seriously missing out. This surprisingly delicious combination pairs perfectly with light, fresh-tasting ricotta.
3. Pear, honey, & blue cheese
Crumbly, salty blue cheese plays beautifully with the floral sweetness of honey, and the addition of a few slices of pear brings a bright note to an otherwise rich treat.
4. Blackberry, sage & brie
This combination is light and summery, and a little sage leaf adds a lovely herbal note. To really take things to the next level, pop these ones in the oven for a few minutes, until your brie is a little melty.
5. Peach, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, & ricotta
Mild ricotta is the perfect base for this sophisticated, complex-tasting arrangement. The rich sweetness of peach is elevated by the savoury prosciutto, and a few drops of balsamic brings everything to life.
Written by Paige Leigh Reist