RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
Open face “sandwiches” have been around as long as there has been bread to toast and anything spreadable and loadable to place on top. Very popular in Scandinavian countries, with names and accent markings that I couldn't pronounce or even figure out how to type on my keyboard, their versions of open face sandwiches are wholegrain bread topped with fresh, churned butter, homemade mayo, smoked or pickled fish and vegetables, cold steak, or simple slices of hard cooked eggs.
In Great Britain, their versions are anything placed “on toast”. A simple Cheese On Toast, to the more “saucy” Welsh Rarebit (savory cheese sauce on toast) or the Scottish Woodcock (Gentlemen’s Relish spread on toast and topped with soft scrambled eggs.) We American’s are also no stranger to the Open Face concepts… our thinly sliced rare roast beef dunked in au jus and piled high and smothered ion rich brown gravy on a toasted bun is a diner classic. Even the classic Thanksgiving leftover, Hot Brown, is considered and all American open face sandwich.
You all know that I take a lot of inspiration from French food… well, French dining, cooking, drinking, and the all around love of food and the experience of it all. This week on the In The Kitchen With Scotty segment I’m playing around with the French love affair of the open face “sandwich", or Tartine.
It’s wrong to refer to a tartine as a sandwich. Sandwiches, as we know, are two thick sliced of bread stuffed with meat and cheese. Same as in France but usually a baguette sliced down the middle and stuffed with ham and cheese or other various ingredients. Tartines on the other hand, Tartiner meaning “to spread”, are thinly sliced pieces of bread that are spread with anything spreadable (such as butter, mayo, aioli, or jam) and then topped off with other delicious ingredients. As opposed to a sandwich that is “grab and go” and eaten on the fly, the tartine is used as a great first course or a delectable light lunch. Both to be savored of the complementing flavors and spreads.
So I decided to knock out two tartines this week with easy and simple flavors in hopes that you will also create your own versions. They are a great use of your summer garden bounty, or when you just really don't feel like starting a meal from scratch and want to turn leftovers into something new and delicious.
Tartine Provençal (serves 2) Fresh flavors of Provence and a great way to utilize your summer garden. Please substitute to what is available to you, or the flavors you enjoy.
1 Bâtard loaf or small baguette, sliced in half lengthwise and toasted
1 small eggplant (aubergine) sliced thin and grilled
3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
1 cup diced tomatoes, pulp, and seeds removed
1 cup diced heirloom cherry tomatoes (get some color in there!)
1/4 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers, or chopped caper berries, drained
In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” to taste (or sea salt and black pepper)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade (cut into thin ribbons)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, stemmed
1 teaspoon lemon zest, microplaned
1 large lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
spreadable Goat Cheese
fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Preheat your oven’s broiler and raise the shelf just below the broiler burner allowing enough room for both halves of the baguette to fit. Place both halves of the bread, cut side up facing the heat, onto a small sheet pan. Brush on lightly the olive oil, and a light even sprinkle of Cook’s Line Seasoning. Place the pan in the oven and toast until golden brown.
- If it is convenient to heat your outdoor grill, please do so... or use and indoor grill pan to grill off your thinly sliced eggplant. Begin by laying the sliced eggplant flat on paper towel and sprinkle with Cooks’ Line or with plain sea salt on both sides. This will draw out the excess moisture and sometimes “bitterness” of the eggplant that well true it to mush when cooked. Let the eggplant rest with the salt for 15-20 minutes then pat dry. Lightly brush with olive oil and begin to grill.. around 5 mynas on one side and three on the other. Set aside and chill.
- In a large non-metal mixing bowl, add the chopped tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. To that add the chopped olives capers, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, and oregano. Mix evenly then cover and chill. This allows the flavors to develop and the natural juices to start extracting. Taste for seasoning and add if needed.
- When ready to make your tartine, spread the “spreadable” goat cheese onto both sides of your toasted bread. If you can't find spreadable goat cheese you make your own with 4-ounce cream cheese and 2-ounce Chèvre whipped light and fluffy.
- Shingle or overlap slices of the grilled eggplant on top of the cheese. Next pile on a nice even layer of the Provençal salad. Serve each half with fork and knife, and dig in. The perfect first course or light summer lunch!
Swiss Chard, Bacon, & Cheese Tartine - Serves 3-4 depending on the size of your bread. A more hearty and “hot” Tartine for cocktail hour or easy dinner.
1 medium sized rustic or artisan ciabatta shaped loaf, split in half and toasted
1 bunch or about 5 cups rough chopped Swiss Chard, stems removed and diced separately
olive oil for sautéing and basting
1/2 pound bacon, large dice, cooked to “medium well”
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
3 ounces Emmental cheese, shredded
In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” or Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- Preheat your broiler, and raise the oven shelf closest to the burner allowing room for the pan and sliced bread loaf. Baste both sides with olive oil and a light sprinkling of Cook’s Line Seasoning. Place into the oven and gently toast the bread. Remove and set aside. Leave the oven broiler on.
- In a large fry pan add a glug or two of olive oil and begin heating. Add the diced bacon and begin to cook, rendering down the fat and lightly cooking the bacon the medium well. Remove the cooked bacon to a bed of paper towels, and drain off half of the excess pan drippings. To that pan and drippings add the diced thick stems of the Swiss chard. Season with Cook’s Line Seasoning and cook for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped Swiss Chard leaves and stir around just enough to wilt. Remove the wilted leaves and stems to a plate.
- With a box grater, hand shred the Gruyère and Emmental cheese. I prefer both mixed together, you may use one or the other… or any semi-soft Swiss style cheese you prefer.
- Spread both of the toasted halves with Boo’s Breakfast Mustard, any whole grain mustard your liking or Dijon-style mustard. Top each half with equal amounts of the wilted Swiss Chard. Followed with the cooked bacon, and formally the shredded cheese mixture.
- Place the loaves, on the same sheet pan back underneath the broiler and grantinée (broil) your tartines. Cook until golden bubbly. Remove and serve right away!