It may not be zucchini season quite yet, but I'd advise squirreling away Deborah Madison's Summer Squash Tartines recipe from her new book, Vegetable Literacy, for dinner parties in the coming months. Another winning bread-cheese-vegetable combination, these open-faced sandwiches are just the thing when you've got a couple of cucurbits hanging around the house. Sure, anyone can throw cheese on bread and call it an appetizer. Yet Madison's little touches, like rubbing the bread with garlic and gently cooking the squash with a saute-steam method, make these tartines more than a slapdash effort at a snack.
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Grilled bread gets rubbed with garlic, topped with a light and tangy basil fromage blanc, and piled with a chopped Niçoise salad of fresh roasted tuna, grape tomatoes, black and green olives, capers, olive oil, and lemon.
If you've ever gotten the slightest bit interested in the art of making bread, chances are you've heard of Tartine, in San Francisco; they're widely known for making some of the best in the country. But the name Tartine is actually loosely translated as open-faced sandwich, and that's the sort of recipe featured in Edible Selby, a recently published compendium of photographer Todd Selby's whimsical columns regularly published in T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
These tartines are assembled on long slices of crisply toasted baguette topped with a mash of garlic and herb Boursin, cut with ricotta to make it spreadable. On top, chopped grape tomatoes, sweet and crunchy, with a drizzle of olive and fleur de sel.
Smother toasted French sourdough with store-bought tapenade, crumble some fresh chèvre cheese on top, and broil it until the cheese softens and just begins to toast. Toss a tender and peppery salad of micro arugula, olive oil, and fleur de sel on top, and you have an incredible, sophisticated, completely easy lunch or dinner