My cousin and his family live in good places, and always have a guest room. So when they moved to Aix-en-Provence, France we were quick to book a visit. Aix is a lovely town, with access to so many other lovely towns and countrysides, and that whole area of France is just lousy with the best cafes of every kind. We, of course, availed ourselves.
Though, I should have started with, we speak zero French and, at the time, had only a rudimentary knowledge of French food. I knew pâté de canard and order that whenever I see it. I thought I knew how to order a tart too, so imagine my surprise when my “Something French and Foie Gras Tartine" (which looks a lot like the word tart) was NOT a baked pastry thing but rather a rustic toast with foie gras (accompanied by, I think it was… mustard and figs?) atop a leafy green salad. Not what I expected but man was it good.
I guess I was a complete rube—how did I not know about the tartine before that trip? Well, I know now—tartine translates loosely to Tasty Things On Toast, Usually With Some Cheese And Often Atop Salady Bits. I immediately added tartines to my "order those always" repertoire (hey—that’s a French word, right?!) and sorted out how to get an actual apple tart as well. Now when I put things on toast if they are French-ish they are tartine (fancy!) and if they are Italian-ish they are bruschetta (also fancy!) and I feel international as hell.
- 2 slices prosciutto
- 1 slice of nice crusty bread (I used a French country loaf)
- Peaches sliced in wedges—enough to cover the bread, how many will depend on the size of your peaches
- 1 ounce chevre cheese
- 2 cups salad greens (I used arugula and baby kale)
- 1 tablespoon very good olive oil—plus a bit more to drizzle
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh lemon verbena (or use lemon basil, or sweet basil and a bit of lemon zest)
- pinches salt and pepper
- 2 big sweet basil leaves—chiffonade (cut into ribbons)
For more on French food (sans white tablecloth), head here.