Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie Group is Goat Cheese and Strawberry Tartine – I opted for a Raspberry version.
A tartine is traditionally an open-faced sandwich, but today the term tartine is often used to describe any French sandwich preparation. There are countless variations of tartine recipes using different meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, and herbs.
You would think that preparing an appetizer as simple and as rustic as this tartine would be easy, but still there were so many decisions…
First, there was the bread. The bread for the tartine can be bought ready-made or be homemade. Although Dorie opts for baguette as the bread base for her tartine, she mentions that thinly sliced pumpernickel would be nice – I opted for a dark rye bread with hazelnuts which is very similar to but has a slightly more subtle taste than pumpernickel. This dark rye bread which you can find at specialist bakeries or markets around here is certainly more interesting to us than the usual go to baguette.
Onto the cheese. Once the question of the bread question was settled – it is never easy to decide which bread to buy in this bread loving country - it was time to decide which cheese to use. The goat cheese I chose is a nice soft farmers´goat cheese that I bought at a country fair the other day – it just does not get more local than that.
Then onto the condiments. I opted for a delicious pepper called “pepper deluxe”, this is a crushed black highland pepper that grows in Sri Lanka and is fermented with salt. We tasted it for the first time a few weeks back, it is fabulous and it adds a distict but well-balanced spiciness and subtly saltiness to a number of dishes, including sandwiches - perfect for these tartines.
As far as the strawberries are concerned, I opted for raspberries instead – in my humble opinion, there is no fruit that tastes better with goat cheese than raspberries, simple as that, so, that´s what I used.
And last but not least the optional aged balsamic vinegar. I used a raspberry balsamic vinegar that harmonized with the fresh raspberries, not too sweet, not too overpowering. Pure bliss!
These tartines with a delicious twist seemed perfect as an appetizer. If your sandwiches or tartines are somewhat lacking in inspiration or if you are looking to brighten up your lunch or dinner or to make afternoon tea more substantial, this delicious tartine is for you. Take any variety of bread that you like, get good spreadable goat cheese(preferably from a goat farmer and cheese maker you know), top with fresh summer fruit, add a bit of pepper or salt to taste and maybe some aged balsamic vinegar (why not white balsamic vingar), maybe some herbs such as fresh chives, et voilà, you will be equally as delighted with this recipe as we were.
Once you have decided on the different delicious elements of these tartines, they take no time to make and are certainly worth trying.
Who would have thought that a recipe as simple as this would be so wonderful. Again, with so few elements, this was all about the quality of the ingredients used! Of course, the better the ingredients used, the more delicious tasting your tartines will be!
To see all the other individual interpretations of the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group, please click here.
Bon week-end! Bonne fin de semaine!