Don’t let the fancy name fool you, tartine is just French for ‘open-faced sandwich’. And I find it easier to say than the Danish smørrebrød, or the Finnish voileipä – the latter of which I have eaten when ages ago I did some work in Helsinki. Cured herring and butter as I recall. I ate it to be polite but I will admit it did taste better washed down with some local beer and perhaps a shot of Finlandia vodka.
I wasn’t working while I was eating/drinking, btw.:-).
The usual open-faced sandwich is savoury, often with a mayonnaise or sour cream-bound topping. But this is a little different, being both sweet and savoury. My little sourdough toasts feature a fusion of Middle Eastern labneh (a type of easily made – or bought – soft cheese), a touch of maple syrup and cardamom, and slivers of beautiful, dusky black fig. And it is super easy to make for a breakfast, light lunch, appetiser or for a wholesome snack.
No mollifying alcohol required here.
Let me tell you I had a difficult time stopping to take these photos because 1) these tartines were going to be my brunch, and it was going on 1 o’clock, and 2) they are just so delicious. The cool lactic tang of the labneh with the soft slight crunch of the figs, all elegantly presided over by the sweet aroma of maple and cardamom – pretty, and pretty irresistible.
As figs become more available over the next fews months I will be making more of these – perhaps not waiting until I feel almost faint to eat them. 🙂 But even if you can’t easily find good quality figs – which is a must for figs – do try this with organic or well-washed peaches or nectarines. The flavours I describe go perfectly well with these fruits. Cherries too.
What have you been putting on toast these days? Have you started to see figs where you shop? What will you do with them? Please feel free to share your own recipes in the comments below. Btw, I am getting the best figs from the small grocer’s shops in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. They seem to be much nicer than those in the supermarkets right now.
Another fig recipe from me: Cardamom-spiced Fig and Plum Galette
Figgy recipes from friends:
Fig, Almond and Smoked Cheese Salad with an Ottolenghi inspired Dressing (via Laura at How To Cook Good Food)
Fig, Halloumi and Hazelnut Salad (via Jeanne at Cook Sister)
and from Sarah at Maison Cupcake, Mini Fig Galettes (just three ingredients!)
Fig and Labneh Tartines with Maple and Cardamom (ie posh toast!)
Don’t have labneh? Use another soft cheese (goat’s is perfect) or any good spreadable cheese (or vegan ‘cheeze’) you fancy that may go with ripe figs.
Hint: Do use the best ingredients when making something as simple as this – there’s no room for inferior food to hide! K x
2 ripest figs, washed and stems removed (I prefer black or dusky purple ones from Turkey instead of the green ones. But that’s just me)
4 tbsp soft cheese of choice – I made goat’s milk labneh (you could use any good yogurt to make labneh rather than goat’s)
2 tbsp best maple syrup
small pinch of ground cardamom OR ground seeds from 1 green pod of cardamom
small palmful of unsalted pistachios, chopped
4 slices good bread, such as a wholegrain sourdough or a fruited sourdough
1. Toast the bread lightly on both sides. Leave to cool. I lean two slices against each other to ‘air’ out.
2. Spread the labneh or other soft cheese equally between the toasts. Slice the figs and lay over the toasts.
3. Mix the maple syrup and cardamom in a tiny bowl or teacup. Pour the syrup over the figgy toasts and top with chopped pistachios. Eat and enjoy.
Want more? Add a few small shards of Parma or Serrano ham to add a salty, savoury note
No figs? Try this with organic peaches, cherries or nectarines for a heavenly treat.
Hate cardamom? Go for it with ground cinnamon
I’ve bought/made the labneh. What else can I do with it? Go to my How To Make Labneh post for loads of ideas. 🙂