There are those things we eat, make, read, and gush over that are just too good to keep to ourselves. Here, we resist the urge to use too many exclamation points and let you in on our latest crushes.
Today: Test Kitchen Manager Erin McDowell depends on warm stuff on bread to get her through her days.
One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced in the past few years is learning to work effectively from home. Sixty percent of my job is spent behind a stove (and lucky for me, a good chunk of that is at my own—I love having home-court advantage). The other forty percent is split between the aisles of the grocery store and my desk.
But despite always being around food, one of the ways I’ve mastered my own effectiveness is by eating lunch. Taking 30 or 40 minutes to make and eat a quick bite breaks up my day and keeps me on task all morning, then fuels me for the afternoon. Sorry, breakfast: Lunch has pretty much become the most important meal of my day. And I owe it all to the fabulous tartine, a warm, crisp, open-faced sandwich piled high with anything you have on hand (and with a fabulous name to boot).
In my world, you could call most of my lunches “leftovers on toast with a side salad,” but I much prefer to call them tartines. While I have the advantage of being able to warm my leftovers on the stovetop or in the oven, rather than being confined to a break-room microwave, I think the same concepts can apply to any working lunch—or, as I have discovered, to happy hour snacks. Or as an appetizer before a large meal. Or for Sunday brunch. Or with your tea in the afternoon. Or, with extra cheese on top, for an excellent midnight munchie. Yep, told you I’m obsessed.
Clockwise from top left: Braised beef and cheese; Parmesan and fried egg; brie and blackberries; smashed tomatoes and fix-ins.
The best thing about this is that I remix leftovers—sometimes from multiple dishes. I’ve hit some pairings that really sing, and look forward to new ones offered up by a full fridge. Here are a few of my favorite combos:
Looking for more ideas?
First photo by Phyllis Grant, second and last photo by James Ransom