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.
Why I Picked This Recipe: I've been a devoted convert to open-faced sandwiches since spending a year living in northern Europe, where it's the way they do things. The "recipe" in Edible Selby is really just a sentence listing ingredients, but the combination sounded great. So while making this, I was actually setting out to write out a proper recipe.
What Worked: This is essentially a deconstructed tuna salad sandwich with the mayonnaise and tuna separated, and it's wonderful. Big pickled caperberries (the fruit of the same bush that produces capers; they have a more mild flavor) are mixed into the homemade mayonnaise, then spread on crusty toasted bread; it's topped with high-quality tuna, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and a squeeze of lemon.
What Didn't: Nothing at all—it's a great recipe. Served with a salad, it's a lovely light dinner.
Suggested Tweaks: Depending on your love of capers, you could always dial the amount back, but I find their briny flavor is perfect against unadorned tuna and stands up to the smoky sprinkle of paprika. And one tweak I would NOT suggest: using anything but great quality olive-oil packed tuna. This sandwich is all about that tuna.
Adapted from Edible Selby.
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup neutral oil, or a combination of neutral and olive
- 10-12 caperberries, roughly chopped (or an equivalent amount of capers)
- 4 large slices rustic bread, toasted
- 10 ounces high-quality tuna in olive oil
- Smoked paprika or za’atar, for dusting
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolk, mustard, and red wine vinegar with a good pinch of salt. While whisking vigorously, drizzle in the oil a little at a time to form the mayonnaise.
Stir the caperberries into the mayonnaise, then taste and season with salt and a splash of vinegar, if necessary.
Spread the caperberry mayonnaise onto the bread all the way to the edges. Spoon the tuna onto the bread and top it with a dusting of paprika.
Serve the open-faced sandwiches with a squeeze of lemon.