Serious Eats

Serious Entertaining: Four Easy Summer Tartines

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Hot on the heels of an all-the-sourdough-in-San-Francisco taste test, I found myself on Wednesday afternoon with six half-eaten loaves of awesome sour dough in the kitchen with very few ideas as to what to do with it. When I'm in need of ideas, I usually head to one of two places: the bath tub or the farmers' market. Luckily for you, this time it was the latter.

Whether you call them tapas or tartines or open-faced sandwiches, there are few greater bangs-for-your-man-hour than toasted bread with olive oil, fresh vegetables and fruits, a bit of cheese and an egg, and a container of my two-minute mayonnaise made with extra garlic. Here's what we got.

Corn, Avocado, and Radish Tartine

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This Corn, Avocado, and Radish Tartine starts with corn cooked in olive oil in a hot skillet until deeply charred and caramelized, which intensifies its natural sweetness. The corn is bound with a bit of garlicky mayo, cilantro, and scallions, seasoned with lime juice, then piled onto a slice of toast spread with some mashed avocado. Sliced radishes bring a touch of heat and fresh crunch.

Tomato, Alli-oli, and Chive Tartine

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I'm a strong proponent of the Tomato-Mayo-Toast sandwich (the T.M.T., if you will), and this Tomato, Alli-oli, and Chive Tartine is basically just that with a slightly fancied-up appearance. I made mine with a slice of rustic whole wheat sour dough rubbed with garlic and olive oil, toasted, then spread with some homemade garlicky mayonnaise (you can fake it by stirring together some micro-planed garlic, jarred mayo, and good olive oil), and topped it with some of the gorgeous Black Prince heirloom tomatoes I found at the Ferry Plaza farmers' market. A sprinkle of coarse sea salt, some more good olive oil, and a few dollops of extra alli-oli complete it.

Taleggio Cheese and Mission Fig Tartine

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Sweet jammy figs are pretty much the perfect accompaniment to a funky, creamy cheese. They're like a fruit preserve already built into a fruit, if you know what I mean. For this Taleggio Cheese and Mission Fig Tartine, I toasted the bread, spread it with Taleggio cheese, layered some sliced figs on top, and threw the whole thing under the broiler until the figs were starting to caramelize and the cheese had melted through.

Kale, Parmesan, and Fried Egg Tartine

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I love putting shredded marinated kale on a pizza—it browns and crisps and becomes wonderfully sweet—so why not on a tartine? For this Kale, Parmesan, and Fried Egg Tartine, I toasted the bread, then covered it with as much kale as I possibly could (it shrinks down as it cooks) before broiling it until crisp and topping the whole thing with an egg fried in olive oil and plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Any one of these would make for a great snack or light lunch, or make all four for a fun mix-and-match dinner.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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