Sometimes, you just need a sandwich. It’s not actually standard, day to day fare in macro eating. But life is also about play. Which on occasion means a playful, indulgent, open faced sandwich. Or, as the French so eloquently call it, a tartine. Sounds way more glamourous that way, don’t you think? Tartine. Yummy. Fancy.
This tartine came to be after hubs and I took a trip the farmer’s market on the weekend. Friends were coming for dinner, and there was no plan for a menu. Whatever looked fresh and delicious at the market would be purchased and used to create our meal. Local. Organic. Those were the only requirements.
Radishes, bright pink and white. French Breakfast Radishes to be precise. Subtle in flavour, light and crisp, fresh, just a hint of that peppery bite. I could imagine how pretty they would be sliced paper thin, lengthwise. My mind started to whir. Into the bag they went.
We walked past a bread artisan, looking cheerful in her hat and apron, and stopped for a chat.
“Yes”, she smiled, “the breads are almost all sourdough based- except for that one over there.” She pointed at a gorgeous white baguette.
“Do they have yeast added?” we asked.
Again she smiled as she traced her arm above the display of various loaves, “Nope- no yeast at all, well, except for the baguette.”
We pointed at a perfectly formed, cute little round loaf. Asked what it was filled with.
When she answered, with a sparkle in her eye, “Black olives and leeks- it’s delicious.” I knew that tartines were going to be on the menu that night.
“We’ll take it, please!” Hubs and I grinned.
As she tenderly put it in a paper bag I could clearly envision the moment where she passed the loaf to me. I would hold it close and deeply inhale the aroma of freshly made bread. Pass it to hubs who would do the same, before tucking it inside his market bag. Instead, I almost left our perfect loaf on the counter, distracted by trying to put away money with no free hands, using a wrist- bag hanging from the elbow- to brush an errant hair away from my eyes, all the while keeping unruly produce from becoming one giant tangle which would result in the inevitable crushing of our prized purchase- tiny, delicate strawberries. So. Not. Glamourous.
Frenzied moment aside, it was a successful trip and the bread made it home with us.
Standing together in the kitchen, Hubs and I admired our purchases. “Mostly red and green” he commented, “with some white”. Christmas in June, on our countertop, I thought.
We talked about dinner plans. An indulgent tartine for the main. A little bit fancy, not too much fuss. Almond spread would be the perfect touch of richness we agreed. In the palest, mint green colour. It would look pretty layered with salad greens and thinly sliced beets. I could taste it right there, see it come together.
We started the meal with a bowl of creamy cauliflower soup with dill and croutons. Followed with the tartines served with a side of quick sauteed beet greens. Strawberry (the first of the season!) vegan cheesecake for dessert.
After cleaning our plates entirely, full and content, we asked if anyone had a little more room to spare. Would they like another tartine? An enthusiastic “YES!” burst forth from all. So with a happy heart, I smiled and prepared another for each of us. We lingered around the table for a good long time that night, savouring, enjoying conversation, delighting in the company of friends. A wonderful early summer evening.