The past two weeks have felt busier than usual as I’ve been trying to push ahead on a big work project. I’m finally starting to feel like I’m making headway and I hope next week things will even out a bit and I’ll have more time to shoot (I miss having a camera in my hand!). But there has been a small recent breakthrough in my kitchen nonetheless. You see, for all my love of taste and meals, I’m very bad at feeding myself at lunchtime. I work from home and it’s so easy to forget as you’re running in every direction chasing after details. Or sometimes I look into the fridge and I can’t seem to think of something quick and wonderful to eat. But I finally found a winning combination, something endlessly adaptable, and so traditional in France that I’m at a loss for why I never thought of it before.
Tartines. A slice of beautiful crusty bread and lovely layers on top. It may sound very much like a sandwich with only one slice of bread, and it is, but somehow, it’s so much more elegant. So, here is the tartine that I’ve made five times in the past week or so, including once this past weekend when I effectively disproved both of his theories that he doesn’t like mixing fruit with savory nor does he like balsamic to the Frenchman (he loved it): Warm Coppa, Apple, and Cheddar Tartine topped with greens with the perfect balsamic dressing. It’s warm, bursting with flavor and so quick. And if you’re anything like me and you have to leave it at the table after a few bites to go pull the cat from the closet where he is hunting plastic bags, it will still be delicious when you get back and it has cooled down. So, enjoy lunch.
Warm Coppa, Apple, & Cheddar Tartine
makes 2 for one person
2 slices of lovely crusty bread*
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 slices of coppa
1/2 medium sized tart apple, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
one handful mixed baby salad leaves
balsamic dressing (recipe below)
Turn the broiler of your oven on to heat and place a rack in the top third of the oven. Spread a very thin layer of mustard on each slice of bread and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top each slice with 2 slices of coppa, half the apple slices, and half the cheese. Place this under the broiler until the cheese is melted and golden, 3 or 4 minutes. Don’t leave it alone, it can go from perfect to burnt in seconds.
Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the dressing. Transfer to a plate and top each half with a bunch of salad greens and drizzle with the dressing to taste.
* The amount of toppings you will need for each tartine will, of course, vary if you have particularly small or large slices of bread.
Perfect Balsamic Dressing
makes enough for several salads, to keep you going all week!
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. walnut or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients in a jar, cover with the lid, and shake it up, baby.