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Dorie Greenspan Inspired Tartine Recipes

by Jeanette on November 21, 2010 · 5 Comments
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I had the most fortunate experience of meeting Dorie Greenspan, a James Beard Award-winning author, several months ago at a BlogHer conference.  Dorie is someone I have admired from afar for many years.  I was immediately struck by Dorie’s down to earth, approachable, sweet personality.

This past week, Dorie was signing her new cookbook, around my french table: More than 300 recipes from my home to yours, at a local library.  I had been looking forward to seeing Dorie again, and had perused her new cookbook, but hadn’t tried any recipes from it yet.

After leaving Dorie’s book signing, I was so inspired by her, that I went through her entire cookbook, page by page.  Dorie makes all of her recipes so approachable, just like herself.  I have to admit, initially, I was intimidated by the size of her cookbook, which includes over 300 recipes!  However, after spending some time reading through a number of her recipes, I realized that they were all very doable, with Dorie offering up lots of tips and details to lead the reader through each recipe.
Her Dieter’s Tartine caught my eye as it is popular among ladies who lunch in Paris, who want something filling, but not fattening. Dieter’s Tartine is made with nonfat fromage blanc, a thick slightly tart creamy spread.  I never knew there was a nonfat version of fromage blanc, so I headed straight to Whole Foods and found it right next to the full fat fromage blanc.
That night, all I could think about were all the possible combinations of tartine I could make.  Tartine is really nothing more than toasted bread with a topping, as simple or fancy as you want to get.  Tartines can be enjoyed as an appetizer or snack, for lunch, or even for breakfast. 
The next day, my kitchen was a whirlwind as I whipped up tartine after tartine. I could have made so many more variations, but my 8-year old was already eyeing all the beautiful creations and wondering who was going to eat all of them (we polished them all off for lunch!).  Thankfully, my youngest son is an eager (but very picky) taste tester…he has a wonderful sense for taste and textures, so I know I’ll get an honest assessment. 

I made Dorie’s Dieter’s Tartine, a tartine topped with artichoke tapenade, a sardine piquillo pepper tartine, a zucchini tartine, and a blueberry tartine. I have to say my son and I loved them all (his favorites were the artichoke tapenade, sardine piquillo pepper, and blueberry tartines).  I am ever grateful for having had the chance to meet Dorie, and for the inspiration that she gave me to whip these tartines up. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

A tray of assorted tartines would be especially festive during the holidays (cut in half for appetizer size portions).   Why not serve tartines and a salad for a light lunch before the big feast on Thanksgiving. Lay out assorted toppings and let guests use their own imagination to create their favorite tartines. I would love to hear what toppings and combinations you come up with for tartines.

Making Tartine Toast:

The crunchy side adds to the texture of the tartine

Printable Recipe
Whole grain crusty bread, sliced

Extra virgin olive oil
Minced garlic
Mix some olive oil with minced garlic.  Brush lightly onto bread slices.
I brush the bread slices lightly with garlic infused olive oil

Toast or grill one side of bread.

Using a heavy pan on top ensures nice crunchy grill marks


Dorie Greenspan’s Dieter’s Tartine

Spread non-fat fromage blanc on tartine.  Layer slices of cucumber on top, and sprinkle with chopped tomatoes.  Garnish with chopped chives and Herbes de Provence (I used thinly sliced cucumbers for a more elegant presentation). The full recipe includes a substitute for fromage blanc.


Tartine with Artichoke Tapenade and Chopped Tomatoes

The addition of artichokes makes for a lighter version of tapenade (from Fat Free Vegan)

Spread Artichoke Tapenade on tartine, and sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top.  Garnish with chopped parsley. Fat Free Vegan’s Artichoke Tapenade is a delicious and healthier alternative to regular tapenade which is made primarily with olives.  

Piquillo Pepper and Sardine Tartines

Adapted from Epicurious.

A tasty introduction to sardines for newbees

Printable Recipe
Lay sardines on top of tartine, and top with strips of piquillo peppers (or regular roasted peppers), very thin red onion slices, some capers, a squeeze of lemon juice, a squirt of Sriracha sauce and some fresh chopped parsley.

I like Nordic brisling sardines, which are smaller in size (so they fit nicely on the tartine) and milder in flavor (less fishy).  More importantly, the smaller the fish, the less contaminants (e.g., mercury, PCB’s) that accumulate in the fish.

If you’re not a sardine lover, this tartine (use brisling sardines) might just change your mind.  Considering that sardines are high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, they’re worth a taste (they are among the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, along with salmon and herring).

Tartine with Zucchini Ribbons

This is based on a zucchini salad I made this summer.

My 8-year old says “the crunchy zucchini contrasts nicely with the creamy topping”

Printable Recipe
Slice zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons.  Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice, salt and Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes), and toss.  Spread tartine with non-fat fromage blanc.  Lay zucchini ribbons on top.

Blueberry Tartine

This would be a fun way to eat fruit for breakfast.  Try other berries like strawberries or raspberries.

A fun way to include fruits at breakfast time or as a snack

Printable Recipe
Use plain toasted tartine.  Spread nonfat fromage blanc on tartine.  Place blueberries on top and drizzle with a little honey.

More Tartine Topping Possibilities:
Sauteed mushrooms with shallots and thyme
Cannellini bean and rosemary dip
Mashed or sliced avocado, topped with chopped tomato and a squeeze of lemon juice
Hummus, topped with sliced Kalamata olives and sun dried tomatoes
Fromage blanc, topped with sliced strawberries, raspberries, or sliced poached pears
More Information on the Health Benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids:
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  1. These look delicious. What an interesting use of zucchini and blueberries!

  2. I'll take one of everything above! I love sardines since my Italian grandfather stayed with us for a week one summer and requested nothing more than sardines in a mustard sauce and toast. It was divine! I know I'd love all of the above combinations!

  3. Hope you get to try these or others you think up. They are fun to make and eat. Glad to hear you like sardines, they are high in omega 3's, and heart healthy.

  4. All of the variations are amazing Jeanette. I agree with you Dorie is a sweetheart! I think I am going to be buying another cookbook. I just purchased her book collaboration with Pierre Herme, fantastic cookbook too.

  5. Thanks Grace. Dorie's latest book has beautiful photographs and the recipes are very straightforward. I think you would really enjoy it.

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