Food & Recipes, Life

Finding Lunch with a Tartine

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.



Food & Recipes

Fresh Green Tomato and Chervil Pasta

Green Tomatoes are relatively new to me. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that I decided I wanted to try them out. They are widely respected in the south of the U.S. and it seems even used in Italy but I think they go about as far as piccalilli in the North and I’ve yet to see one served here in Paris.

But I got the perfect opportunity to give them a go one year when my MIL’s garden was fading and none of us could bare to just let the green tomatoes go. This year, I asked at my favorite marché stand (remember, they sell directly from the farm) and they offered to bring some for me the next weekend. I knew I wanted to make something that tasted just as fresh as they are and when a bunch of vibrant green chervil landed in our caddy at the marché, I thought they could shine together. Have you ever had chervil? It’s lovely and delicate and wonderful in salads too. They even make a soup of it in France.

So, along with some crispy crumbled coppa and Parmesan, we had this super fresh sauce on pasta last week. It couldn’t be simpler! The season for green tomatoes is actually so short that I don’t have a lot of time to play around with them. Plus they will start to ripen on the counter after a few days. But little by little, I’ll try something new each year.

Fresh Green Tomato & Chervil Pasta

serves 4 to 6

5 slices of coppa*

about 3 pounds green tomatoes, washed and cubed

3 shallots, chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 handful fresh chervil, roughly chopped

2 tbsp. butter (optional)

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste



1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat heat. When the pan is hot, add you slices of coppa allowing to cook until they are browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and brown the second side. Remove from the pan to a paper towel lined plate to absorb to extra grease, the slices will be soft but will become crisp as they cool. Pour off and discard all but one tablespoon of the fat left in the pan.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and add your pasta to cook according to package instructions. When you drain the pasta, reserve a cup of the cooking water.

3. Return the pan with the reserved oil to a medium heat and add the shallots. Cook until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to reduce by about half. Had the green tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and begin to break down a little and form a sauce. It you prefer, you can process the tomatoes for a smooth sauce but I like it to be chunky. Stir in most of the chervil, reserve 1/4 to garnish the pasta if you like.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. You don’t have to add this but it adds a softness and creaminess to the tangy green tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the crispy coppa slices into medium sized bits. Serve the sauce on or tossed through the pasta and topped with extra chervil and crumbled coppa.



* Coppa is a cured Italian meat. You could also used pancetta or good quality bacon.