Breakfast tartine – tomatoes, eggs, hollandaise
Just in case you think I am holed up in here and cook-photograph-write and never go out, that’s almost but not always the case. Yesterday my foodie friend Val and I went on a foodie excursion south of here and had a blast. We call these the “two foodies and a hummer” excursions and we do them quite often. We stopped for coffee and pastries at Bliss Bakery in Peachland, photographed golden delicious apple harvest at an orchard in Lake Country, had a fabulous and leisurely Joy Road Cuisine de Terroir lunch at Black Hills estate Winery on the patio in Oliver, watched grape crushing at Burrowing Owl vineyards and still stopped for something sweet on the way back. I have the photos to prove it.
On another excursion south a couple of days earlier (investigating bakeries) I came back with enough breads to feed an army. I have to use as much of these breads as I can because I have no freezer room here but I love bread anyway so it isn’t a problem. So we have been enjoying some good and sturdy country style loaves here for a couple of days but I needed to do more.
One thing to do with bread is tartines. I have written about tartines before so I won’t repeat it all here except to say that a tartine is essentially an open face sandwich made with a grilled slice of bread with various toppings. Boring? Not so fast. These can be fascinating culinary creations that are comforting and tantalizing all at once. Almost anything can top a long slice of beautifully grilled bread, let your imagination soar.
Artichokes and goat cheese? ✓
Ricotta and ripe tomatoes? ✓✓
Roasted asparagus with melted fontina? ✓✓✓
Sautéed mushrooms and a poached egg? ✓✓✓✓
The list goes on and I’ll leave some ideas for future posts. Sometimes you finish the tartine under a broiler or in the oven (to melt a cheese or brown a topping), other times you sauté, slice, layer and sprinkle. Sometimes you serve them with knife and fork and other times you can cut them into segments that can be picked up by hand.
Breakfast tartines are always a treat, especially when you have the right bread. I prefer sourdough white or brown country loaf with a good crust and chewy crumb. The bread has to be sturdy enough to hold the topping and not get soggy. Round loaves are nice because you can slice them into long thin slices that make a beautiful tartine but any other loaf would do.
One thing you need for a tartine is something to grill the bread on. Cast iron skillet, ridged pan or a panini maker would be good. I often use my panini maker as it grills both sides of the bread at the same time. I drizzle a little oil on a plate and press the bread into the oil briefly to absorb the oil, a little on each side, I then grill it, top it and serve.
When building a tartine think of layering flavours and textures. Something on the bread, then the main filling, then a topping and a garnish. A flavoured oil drizzled on top or a sauce would be nice as well.
For this simple breakfast tartine I spread parsley pesto on the bread, then layered it with freshly cut ripe tomatoes and then topped with soft boiled eggs and a little hollandaise. Micro green or other greens on top, a sprinkling of coarse maldon salt and an extra drizzle of pesto oil and it was done. With a little organization, by the time the 5 minutes eggs are cooked the entire tartine can be ready to go.
2 long slices of bread from a round loaf or another bread slices
3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
4 eggs, soft boiled or poached
Quick Hollandaise (see below)
Micro greens or other greens
Maldon salt or fleur de sel or coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Brush both sides of the bread with oil (or see my method above), place in a panini maker and grill, pressing lightly, until nice grill marks are showing.
Spread the bread with parsley pesto, then layer with slices of tomatoes.
To make the hollandaise place 2 yolks in a glass, add a teaspoon of champagne vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Melt 6 tablespoon butter and slowly drizzle the butter into the yolks whisking to incorporate the butter into the yolk. I use an emersion milk frother to do this, or sometimes the blender. Set aside.
Place the eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water.
Peel the eggs, cut in half and arrange over the tomatoes.
Drizzle with the hollandaise, scatter micro green over the tartine and season with salt and pepper.
You can thin some of the pesto with olive oil to a pouring consistency and drizzle a little here and there.
Serve warm, especially of you don’t have to photograph it first.