Thursday, January 26, 2017


A picture tells a thousand words. The one above shouts about a colorful appetizing platter. Tartines are a beloved lunch companion to soup or a salad. I may say lunchtime food, but you could pick up a slice whenever you feel hunger pangs.

These are easy to assemble. I make two fish and two veg variations. The smoked salmon and Boursin is one I have made in the past. No smoked salmon, use prosciutto or roast beef. Salmon rillettes come from Dorie Greenspan.  Avocado toast is sourdough bread, softened goat cheese and sliced avocado, sprinkled with sea salt. Sorry, but there is no substitute for avocado! Thinly sliced radishes and parsley make a fresh tasting topping for Boursin. No radish, use cucumber slices. You could use cream cheese, but what draws me to Boursin is it's soft texture and added seasonings. No Boursin, add garlic, scallions and herbs to cream cheese. Bread brings these toppings together. I almost always reach for Trader Joe's bread, which make a sturdy base. Their seven grain batard and sourdough breads are my preferred choice. Be a bread snob and look for artisanal kinds. You will be amply rewarded when you take that first bite.

In reality, your fridge, not the world, is your oyster. Reach in, take a chance, mix and match your finds. Then sit back and enjoy the repast.

Smoked Salmon, Salmon Rilletes, Radish and Avocado Tartines 
Makes 24-27 pieces

3-4 Seven Grain Wheat Bread slices
2-3 Sourdough slices
1 package Boursin or flavored Cream Cheese at room temperature 
4 Smoked Salmon slices
Dill sprigs
1/2 cup Salmon Rilletes (recipe below)
1/4 cup Goat Cheese at room temperature 
1 ripe Avocado 
Sea Salt
3 red Radishes

Salmon Rilletes
4 oz Salmon fillet
1/2 cup White Wine
1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
1 Lemongrass
I green Chile
2 Scallions
1 Shallot
1/4 cup Smoked Salmon chunks
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise 
1 teaspoon Sriracha 
1 teaspoon Gochuchang
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salad
Several grinds fresh Black Pepper 
1/4 cup Cilantro 

Trim lemongrass and cut into 2 inch pieces. 
Trim and cut scallions and green chile into small pieces.
Place salmon, white wine, fish sauce, lemongrass, scallions and green chile in a nonreactive saucepan. Place over medium heat and poach salmon for 15 minutes till cooked. Take salmon out of liquid and flake gently into small chunks. 
Mince shallot and place in a bowl. 
Add mayonnaise, Sriracha and gochuchang along with salt and pepper. Mix till smooth.
Add flaked salmon and smoked salmon chunks to bowl.
Roughly chop cilantro and add to salmon. 
Mix gently so salmon holds its shape. 
Refrigerate for a couple of hours to let the spices infuse.

Assemble tartines just before you plan to serve them.


Spread Boursin thickly on 2-3 wheat bread slices.

Top with smoked salmon pieces. 

Scatter dill fronds on salmon.


Spread salmon rilletes on 2 lightly toasted sourdough slices.


Toast 2 sourdough slices.

Spread goat cheese over slices.

Peel and cut avocado. Arrange over goat cheese.

Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper over avocado toast.


Slice radishes thinly.

Spread Boursin thinly over wheat bread.

Top with radish slices.

Season with sea salt.

Garnish with parsley leaves.

Cut tartines into halves or thirds if desired.

A crisp white wine, some hot soup and this sandwich smorgasbord transforms my kitchen into a French bistro. Don't miss the chef peeking out from under the bread!