Dorie’s recipe recalls a favorite cafe of hers in Paris, La Croix Rouge. The recipe is for “tartines”, or open-faced sandwiches – in this case two different combinations: rare roast beef and cornichons (the saint germain), and the other smoked salmon with capers (the norvegienne). Of course, on some beautiful bread.
In Phoenix, we have our own fantastic cafe Postino (or winecafe as they like to describe themselves) that offers what are termed “bruschetta”, but are very similar to Dorie’s version – not on crisply toasted bread, and with a variety of toppings – none of which has ever disappointed. I’ve offered a sampling here – just as a reminder of where you can take these (to myself as well, I forget what a great idea this is for lunch or dinner).
- Brie & Apples with Fig Spread
- Fresh Mozzarella with Tomato & Basil
- Prosciutto with Figs & Mascarpone
- Warm Artichoke Spread
- Smoked Salmon with Pesto
- Tomato Jam & Fresh Sheeps Milk Cheese
- Burrata, Bacon, Arugula & Tomato
- Ricotta with Dates & Pistachios
- White Bean with Chopped Tomato
- Roasted Peppers with Goat Cheese
- Salami with Pesto
I’ve actually made the roast beef version before – to go with one of Dorie’s soups. For this time, I wanted to make both types, and serve them a la Postino – in smaller pieces, so that we could enjoy both kinds.
These are incredibly easy to put together, it’s more of a shopping experience – having great ingredients on hand. Both start with the bread toasted on one side – mine was some artisan sourdough. I’d thought about making my own, but this was here so… why not? I just toasted it in a clean pan on one side – that’s the side that gets the spread. Mayo for the beef, butter for the salmon. Hidden under the beef are slices of cornichons, fabulous little gherkin pickles from France.
The beef in that case, and the salmon over the buttered toast in the other, are then seasoned as necessary. The salmon gets topped with capers and a garnish of lemon.
I served these with small, chilled artichokes. Along with a glass of wine, a perfect meal.
I was happy to have Dorie’s inspiration – to remind me how good a simple little bit of bread with some toppings could be. You can find out how others fared with this little recipe here.