There are few dishes more iconically French than the tartine. Think of a tartine as the chic, Parisian older sister of the open-faced sandwich. Simple and easy to make, tartines are a delicious combination of a few really good ingredients. My Parmesan & Arugula Tartine starts with a good crusty country bread that can be found in any bakery or grocery store. Start by toasting a thin slice of bread in a toaster until it is crisp and golden. Let it cool for a minute then schmear a little of my Vert Vinaigrette on top, add shavings of spicy Parmigiano-Reggiano, a few leaves of crisp arugula and finish with some fleur de sel and black pepper, et voilà! I like to serve this as chic little lunch or cut into pieces for an hors d’oeuvre (both with a glass of white wine!). However you serve this, make sure it is often!
Recipes & Entertaining Ideas
Filtering by Tag: Vinaigrette
You have probably heard of ‘Green Goddess’ dressing from the 70’s! My Vinaigrette Vert (‘vert’ means ‘green’ in French) is a reimagining of that classic recipe with a version that is no less herbaceous, but with a modern more flavorful, lighter (and French) twist, using crème fraiche instead of mayonnaise or sour cream as a base. I love the bounty of fresh herbs that go into this vinaigrette, and I have found that using a food processor cuts down on the time spent chopping all of those herbs significantly. Why spend time chopping when you can be eating? This is a fabulous and versatile recipe that should be a staple in your rotation, as it makes for a deliciously fresh way to dress a plate of greens, a perfect accompaniment for crudités or a spread on a tartine!
Ingredients (makes 1 cup)
Crème Fraiche – ½ cup
Sherry Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
Dill – ½ cup, roughly chopped
Tarragon – ¼ cup, roughly chopped
Basil – ¼ cup, roughly chopped
Chives – 3 tablespoons, roughly chopped
Mint Leaves – 1 tablespoon, roughly chopped
Parsley – 1 cup, roughly chopped, Italian flat leaf variety
Garlic – 2 cloves, roughly chopped
Lemon Juice - 3 tablespoons, freshly squeezed
Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked
Fleur de Sel – ½ teaspoon
Olive Oil – ½ cup
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add all of the ingredients except the olive oil.
Pulse a few times to combine the crème fraiche and fresh herbs.
With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube.
Transfer the dressing to a serving bowl and serve alongside a green salad.
Tip: You can also serve this vinaigrette as a dip for a vegetable crudité, use as a sauce on grilled or roasted vegetables and as a spread on tartines and sandwiches.
Every time I am in Paris, I am mesmerized at how simple and delicious the classic bistro food is! The menus are long and extensive, but each and every dish seems to be accompanied by a petite salad dressed in a light and creamy vinaigrette – the iconic creamy mustard vinaigrette. There are thousands of cookbooks and online recipes with different versions on this classic vinaigrette with alternating ingredients and measurements. And truth be told, some of the ones I tried are really very good, just not what I remember from my Parisian experiences.
So I set off on my vinaigrette journey armed with an obscene amount of oils, jars of different mustards, whisks, and measuring cups. Batches and batches later I finally figured out a few small but important tricks to recreate this iconic dressing at home in Chicago; Crème Fraiche, a garlic press, and a combination of both olive oil & vegetable oil. Adding Crème Fraiche gave it more of a creaminess and tang, that when I left it out, it was noticeable in both texture and flavor. Instead on mincing the garlic and having the vinaigrette have small pieces in it, using the garlic press turned the garlic into almost a paste which incorporated into the dressing better. Finally, adding both the olive oil and vegetable oil was, I my opinion, the biggest key to my French Bistro Vinaigrette. Using all olive oil was too heavy in taste, and using all vegetable oil didn’t add any flavor. Using both was the perfect combination!
Making my French Bistro Vinaigrette doesn’t take more than 5 minutes and is the perfect accompaniment on a variety of salads, even ones with roasted vegetables and fruit. It is also quite lovely to decorate a cheese plate with – the mustard really comes through the dressing and amps up the flavors of certain cheeses, like Gruyere. It is also fabulous to serve alongside a crudité platter. Salad greens, vegetables, cheeses, and fruits are about to become even more exciting!
Watch my webisode on French Bistro Vinaigrette
French Bistro Vinaigrette
Ingredients (make 1 ¼ cups)
Egg Yolks – 1 extra-large, at room temperature
Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon
Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked
Champagne Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
Crème Fraiche – 1 tablespoon
Dijon Mustard – 2 teaspoons
Garlic – 1 clove, crushed using a garlic press
Vegetable Oil – 7 tablespoons
Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon
Place all of the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously for about 60 seconds.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before dressing a salad.
Tip: This is by far my most favorite vinaigrette and one that I keep constantly on hand. It can be prepared up to 7 days in advance and stored in an air tight container.