There are two things I really love about this particular recipe. One, that it’s actually two recipes I threw together because #hellodelicious. But really, you can use the two spreads separately, however you want. Two, THE TOMATO JAM. I came up with this on a whim when I had a bunch of leftover cherry tomatoes, and dear lord was it good. This tartine is only the beginning — there are so many things you could do with this sweet, savory, tomato-y spread (in fact, I’ve listed some of them at the end of the post!).
If you’re sticking with tartines, once you have the two spreads made, these open-faced sandwiches come together in a flash. They can be sliced up into smaller pieces and served alongside a cheese board or on a buffet (perfect, in fact, if you’re throwing a Bastille Day party next week!).
I’d be remiss if I didn’t show a little love to the goat cheese spread. Truthfully, I originally wanted to build this post around that specific recipe, as it’s something I have made for years. Last year, I brought it to one of my French classes, and everyone loved it so much I found myself emailing out the recipe to classmates. I figured it was high time I share it here, too! I find myself making this spread in the summertime, when it’s lemony goodness matches the weather. It’s a family favorite — I hope you enjoy it!
Herbed Goat Cheese
8 oz plain goat cheese
1.5 tbsp dried Herbes de Provence
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely minced
— kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl until well combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper as desired, mix, and taste for seasoning. The cheese can be stored in an airtight container for at least 3 days. If you are spreading it, you can leave it out for half an hour so it is soft.
1 pint cherry tomatoes (I used heirloom cherry tomatoes)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 or so sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Combine all the ingredients except the vinegar in a medium sauce pot. Heat over a medium flame. Soon, you will hear the tomatoes begin to pop — if you have ever cooked cranberries at Thanksgiving, it is similar. As they begin to burst, use a fork to gently smush the burst tomatoes, to encourage the juices to come out. Be careful, as once they heat up, their liquid will be hot! Keep smashing the newly popped tomatoes every few minutes, and gently stirring. Once all the tomatoes have burst, add in the vinegar and stir. Simmer the mixture until it has reduced by 1/2 to 2/3. Be sure to stir occasionally as the sides and bottom will begin to caramelize from all the sugars. Once reduced, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove any thyme stems. The sauce will thicken up, then you’re ready to serve! This will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for at least 5 days.
To assemble the tartines:
— Herbed Goat Cheese
— Tomato Jam
— fresh basil leaves, cleaned
Slice a baguette in half width wise, then again length wise, as if making two giant sandwiches. Toast the pieces in the oven until the bread is just crisp. Set aside.
Once the spreads are all ready, spread some of the goat cheese on one piece of the baguette. Lay basil leaves along the baguette in whatever pattern you’d like, on top of the cheese. They don’t need to overlap, but it looks nice if they’re peeking out from the sides.
Spoon some of the tomato jam on top of the leaves. Repeat with the remaining pieces of baguette, as needed, then serve!
Other ways to serve the Herbed Goat Cheese:
+ Mix with hot pasta and a little of the pasta cooking water, as well as fresh baby spinach leaves. Instant pasta sauce!
+ Serve a dollop atop roasted chicken breasts
+ Serve it on a cheese board
+ Fry it into goat cheese croquettes and serve on a salad (a twist on the classic Salade de Chèvre Chaud)
+ Mix it into fresh roasted corn
Other ways to serve the Tomato Jam:
+ With hot pasta and roasted chicken pieces (you’d probably need a double batch of the jam!)
+ Alongside basically any meat: pork chops, steaks, roasted chicken, shrimp, a meaty white fish
+ Room temperature or cold, in a bowl on a cheese board
+ As a sandwich spread, with turkey
+ On top of an omelette or fried eggs
+ Mixed with corn and other summer vegetables for a delish side dish
+ As a twist on pizza sauce, or as a base on grilled flatbreads