Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strawberry, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Tartines

Tartines continue to intrigue me. I've been experimenting with them all summer and am looking forward to more. They are extremely easy, offer endless variation and can be quite elegant.

Simply put, tartines are open-faced sandwiches. This style of sandwich has a long history and a global presence. One piece of bread plus a topping or two and you're all set. The basic formula is:

[bread] + [spreadable topping] + [thinly sliced topping] + [chopped or shredded topping]

The approach goes something like this:
  1. Spread first topping on bread.
  2. Layer on next topping.
  3. Finish with final topping and season to taste.
Tartines can be served hot ... or cold ... or a combination of the two. They can be sweet ... or savory ... or a combination of the two. They can be served as appetizers (known as canap├ęs or tartinas), breakfasts, lunches, or light dinners along side a salad. The only limit is your imagination.

My favorite combinations so far include:
  • sourdough baguette topped with goat cheese, roasted fennel, and arugula in citrus vinaigrette
  • whole wheat bread topped with goat cheese, arugula tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh strawberries
Others that come to mind are:
  • Caprese Tartinas: thin baguette (sweet or sourdough) sliced cross-wised into disks, spread with pesto and topped with slice of tomato, slice of fresh mozzarella and a basil sprig
  • Sweet baguette topped with cantaloupe slices and Prosciutto de Parma
  • Sweet baguette topped with melted brie and Major Grey's Mango Chutney
What are your favorite combinations?

If you're looking for additional information in this culinary neighborhood, I highly recommend Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book: The Best Sandwiches Ever--from Thursday Nights at Campanile. This book contains amazing recipes and solid guidance on a wide variety of sandwich techniques, not just open-faced.

Strawberry, Arugula and Goat Cheese Tartines
Serves 4

loaf whole wheat bread, thinly sliced (~1 cm)
4 oz fresh goat cheese, brought to spreadable temperature (room temp is fine)
2c arugula
balsamic vinaigrette
1 pint fresh strawberries, trimmed and quartered

Lighty grill bread over open flame or toast under broiler. Spread goat cheese on the toasted bread. Toss arugula in vinaigrette and layer over goat cheese. Top with strawberries and serve.
This proved to be a really flavorful, yet light dish that would pair nicely with a blanc de blanc for an elegant brunch.


  1. The food looks good, but I am concerned about the lack of beagles. Please address this concern in future photos.

  2. From Karen at

    I've always liked the saying, "You eat with your eyes first." And, these are beautiful!

    I also like the combination of pureeing asiago, parmesan and romano cheese with garlic. Spread that on crusty Italian bread, followed by bruschetta mixture, followed by toasted pine nuts and a basil sprinkle. Yum!

  3. We made a fresh tomato tartine last night for dinner. It's simple but a keeper, with adjustments of course.
    Sweet baguette with goat cheese spread on top. Toast in hot over for about 5-7 minutes until bread is crispy. Top with fresh sliced tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with basil pesto.
    Next time I may use the pesto as the spread and crumble the goat cheese on top. Either way it was tart, tangy and crispy.