Tartines are fancy French open-faced sandwiches. We’ve tackled this category on a couple French Fridays in the past with a marvelous Strawberry, Goat Cheese version as well as a Nutella dessert tartine. Bill is home for 4+ weeks to recuperate from surgery and already going stir crazy with his restricted activity. He was overly interested as I prepared our lunch…not always a good thing. I mentioned I was making two tartines; one a tartine norvégienne and the second a tartine Saint-Germain. Both were inspired from the bustling Parisian café, La Croix Rouge.
As expected, he grilled me on the details. One was made with smoked salmon and the other roast beef, I explained. I sliced a seedy, wheat roll and smeared it with butter, then layered on the thinly sliced Norwegian salmon that gave rise to its name. A sprinkling of capers, freshly ground black pepper plus lemon wedges accompanied my selection. Bill eyed me closely as I spread mayonnaise over his grilled sourdough, then stealthily attempted to add a layer of sliced cornichons followed by rare beef slices. I passed him his tartine, then out came the ketchup, on came the second slice of bread as a topper, and the pickles were removed. I’m certain those who frequent La Croix Rouge would not recognize our lunches as replicas of the best sellers off their menus. Nonetheless, they were quite elegant and tasty.
No recipe is needed for this simple lunch fare, but details can be found in Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan.