Saturday, August 10, 2013

A tartine

Saturdays have been tartine days these past couple of weeks for S and me. We love them, we could practically live on them for the entire summer.

The combinations of different ingredients that you can use to make a tartine are endless and that’s my favorite part about them, but so is the fact that they’re so damn easy and filling. You can have lunch just by eating a couple and you wouldn’t feel like you ate a glorified sandwich.

I used regular peaches for the tartines but the wild (doughnut, Saturn) peaches were even more delicious.

If you put some thought into it, a little care and if your ingredients are seasonal and fresh, then a tartine can be spectacular. Allow me to say that these here were just that. Grilled peach, beetroot and blue cheese tartines with a walnut and garlic spread; they were seriously delicious and I’m not just saying that.

Apart from the obvious freshness and juiciness of the peaches that are in season and that you’d have to be insane not to be all over them, the earthy, mellow sweetness of the beetroot and the sheer scrumptiousness of the soft, rich blue cheese, the secret to these tartines is twofold. First, the grilling of the peaches that makes them soft and caramelized and charred and kind of smoky, and second, the walnut and garlic spread, so nutty and aromatic, that gives them an extraordinary depth of flavor.

Along with the crusty grilled bread and the crisp salad leaves there’s a beautiful balance of flavors and textures that make these tartines worthy of making again and again until the peach season comes to its end and you start looking for new and imaginative combinations.

Tartines of Grilled Peaches, Beetroot and Blue Cheese with Walnut and Garlic Spread
Adapted from Food & Travel

Use good bread otherwise there’s no point in making a tartine. No matter what you put on top of it, if the bread is not right, i.e. with a dense crumb and a crusty crust, then you got a failure on your hands. I used multi-grain bread.

Enjoy your tartines with a nice dry red wine such as a Beaujolais or a Syrah.

Yield: 6 tartines

6 large slices of good crusty bread (either sourdough or multi-grain)
3 firm and ripe peaches (not too ripe as they’ll fall apart while grilling), stoned and cut into 8 wedges
1 plus 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small beetroot, boiled, peeled and cut into thin slices
100 g blue cheese (I used Danish blue)
100 g frisée lettuce, roughly chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

for the walnut and garlic spread
100 g walnuts
50 g bread (crumb and crust), cut into small pieces
85 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
60 ml water
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, 3-4 grinds of the pepper mill

Special equipment: small food processor, griddle pan (I use this one)


for the walnut and garlic spread
Add all the ingredients for the spread in your food processor, being careful not to add too much salt, and process until you have a chunky spread, stopping the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Give it a taste, adjust the seasoning and set aside until ready to use.

You can keep it in the refrigerator, covered, for 2-3 days.

Heat your griddle pan over high heat and grill the bread slices on both sides. Transfer them to a plate.
Add the peach wedges to a small bowl and toss them with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Grill the peaches for a couple of minutes on both sides, until they slightly soften and have griddle marks. Be careful not to grill them for too long because they’ll disintegrate.
Toss the frisée lettuce with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.
Toss the beetroot slices with 1 tsp olive oil in another bowl.

Spread enough of the walnut and garlic spread on the bread to cover it. Add the frisée lettuce and 2-3 wedges of grilled peach. Add 2-3 slices of beetroot and crumble the blue cheese on top.
Serve immediately.

More tartines:
Broccolini and Parmesan Tartines
Spinach and Feta Tartines


  1. Magda your tartines, and the melon salad in the prev post and ice cream all look, smell and seem delectably good... I love the combination of sweet, salty and nutty. BTW we decided to go to Costa Navarino in the south of the Peloponesse at the end instead of athens or Kafalonia ( thats is my visa comes out in time)XX Lara

  2. One of my favorite summer foods is couscous with beets, nectarines or peaches, feta and walnuts. So, I just need to turn this into a tartine: awesome ideia Madga! Love the marks on the grilled peaches, they look soooooo pretty :)

  3. Um, yum! Think I'll be making these this week!