Tartines: Norvegienne & Saint Germaine

French Friday’s with Dorie

tartine norvegienne Salmon

[I’m doubling up on French Fridays with Dorie this week since I still have many assignments for which I just haven’t had the time to sit down with a plan and share with you. I’m hoping it will be more palatable going forward if I just double up on Friday whenever I have something extra and leave the other week day cleansed and ready for non-Dorie Greenspan favors. (See what I did there?)

So stay away on Fridays if you have had had your fill of French food. Or just stay away altogether, for clearly you don’t know what’s good.]

* * *

There is irony that comes with my complaining about my lack of time while sharing what must be the two most time-unrestricted recipes in Dorie’s book. It is not lost on me. These tartines: Norvegienne & Saint Germaine take no more than a few seconds to prepare. In case the picture above hasn’t made it obvious to you, a tartine is simply an open-faced sandwich rebranded for the French sensibility.

Would you expect anything else from a culture that eleveates  scarf tying to a ‘chicer-than-you-ever-will-be’ art form?

Every culture has puts its own stamp on the bread they enjoy and similarly, they  put their own name on the meal that comes from putting something on a single slice of it. The Danes call it Smørbrød (probably due to the fact that “a danish” was already taken) while the those in the Low Countries have their Uitsmijter, which is a real production that allows the eater the opportunity to construct their own from an assortment of options.

In the ever practical United States we prefer the simple open-faced sandwich as we usually opt to forgo pretension when given the choice– which is  all we can count on from ourselves most of the time, isn’t it? Perhaps this prediliction works in our favor for by doing so we allow for a pleasant surprise when someone French comes along to shows us how their own simple combination can elicit that je ne sais quoin.  Stuff on toast worthy of the moniker “tar tine.”

Just like they do with that damned scarf.

So, as long as you have a hunk of bread in the house and a refrigerator with something in it you can be making tartines and proclaim yourself a French cook.

Tartines Norvegienne

tartine norvegienne Salmon

Dorie uses two pages of her book to share two tartines from La Croix Rouge, a busy Paris cafe around the corner from  such fashionable boutiques as Sonia Rykiel and Prada. It makes me giggle with condescension to think of the scarf-wearing fashionistas rushing across the street at lunch time to sit outside after overspending on a lunch consisting of a glass of wine and stuff on toast.

Yes, Of course I’m just jealous.

But seriously, if you and I, dear reader, are ever together in Paris at a busy street cafe and I order this for lunch please slap me and remind me how easy it is to make that at home and remind me to order the steak frittes.

Yet, somehow the proprietors of La Croix Rouge have managed to convince the masses that something as simple and timeless as smoked salmon with capers on toast can be a best selling menu item. It is certainly delicious for the combination has been pleasing eaters for centuries — but I suppose if you rebrand it  Tartine Norvegienne you can have them standing in line to get in. Can I have a bite of yours?

This is the art of scarf tying.

Tartines Saint Germaine

In the USA we call this a Roast Beef on Rye.

tartine saint germain-2

The big lesson this week? Anything and everything can be a tartine. Open the refrigerator door and go nuts. Be sure to present it with European flair and then nibble on it with lots of attitude and soon enough people might be be standing in line at your house waiting to get in. Had I only known!

When I was a child I used to take the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my mother packed daily for my lunch and split them open before eating them. I’d eat the peanut butter side first, and for dessert I’d eat the jelly side. Each with just hints of the other flavor still attached.Little did I know I was eating tartine le beurre d’arachide with a lovely tartine gelée de raisin for dessert.

If I owned a cafe in Paris I would have been rich!

tartines saint germain-1

Tartines Le Beurre D'arachide & Gelée de Raisin

 Tartines Le Beurre D'arachide & Gelée de Raisin

This is what you will need:

  • Two slices of your preferred bread, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup natural style peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup grape jelly

This is how you make it:

  1. With a kitchen knife, spread the peanut butter to cover one slice of the bread in a thin but even later.
  2. Repeat on the other slice of bread with the grape jelly and stack the bread slices on top of each other so that the peanut side and the jelly side touch each other and the exposed bread sides are on the outside.
  3. Put the stacked bread in a plastic bag and either carry it around with you for 3 hours or put it in an outdoor locker or encased closet to rest for 3 hours and let the flavors blend.
  4. When ready to serve, take the stacked pieces of bread out of the bag and peel them apart being careful not to tear the bread.
  5. Either serve the pieces whole or slice them into strips.
Tartine Norvegienne

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Tartine Norvegienne

I call it Smoked Salmon on Toast but at La Croix Rough it is known as Tartine Norvegienne. Whichever you prefer to eat it is a simple combination and makes a good lunch or afternoon snack.

This is what you will need:

  • 1 large slice of your preferred bread. A tight crumb works best
  • Butter at a spreadable temperature
  • enough slices of smoked salmon to in a single layer
  • capers
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges for garnish

This is how you make it:

  1. Using a toaster or grill, lightly toast one or both sides of the bread. When completed and the bread is still hot, spread it with butter and top with the salmon in a single layer. Scatter the capers over the top and give a few grinds of salt and pepper to the top. Either serve whole or cut into strips. Serve with lemon.
  2. Open a Paris cafe.
Tartine Saint Germaine

Tartine Saint Germaine

This is what you will need:

  • 1 large slice of your preferred bread cut 1/3" thick
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cornichons or sour pickles
  • 1 slices of rare roast beef sliced as thin as possible
  • salt and pepper

This is how you make it:

  1. Using a toast or grill, cook one or both sides of the bread until lightly toasted. As soon as it is done slather one side with the mayonnaise and place the roast beef on top in a single layer and arrange thinly sliced cornichons and pickles on top. Serve the tartine whole or cut it into strips.
  2. Open a Paris cafe.


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

Previous Post:
Next Post:

  1. Mmm. Sarcasm goes deliciously with these preparations! That hint of acid is exactly what they needed!

  2. Looks great Trevor! 🙂 Especially love your Tartines Le Beurre D’arachide & Gelée de Raisin, but we prefer strawberry or apricot jam around these parts 🙂

  3. Haha, I definitely LOL’d when I saw: Tartines Le Beurre D’arachide & Gelée de Raisin. Such a sophisticated take on peanut butter and jelly 😉

    Growing up in an Italian family, I am very familiar with the “stuff on toast” concept. We call it crostino! And it’s one of my favorite casual meals. These French variations sound super tasty. I’m especially drawn to the beef!

  4. Le Beurre D’arachide? Why even the French children are fasionable,no?

  5. LOL Trevor! Indeed anything and everything can be a tartine. Also, how great it is that you have a category on your blog called “stuff on toast” 😉 Love the PB+J but don’t you think “confiture” sounds better than “gelée”?

  6. Superb! Love the posh-sounding P&B sandwiches.

  7. Oh I love this post. I hope Dorie reads this. She will laugh and laugh. Only you could elevate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to Chic-dom. I like these two tartines but nothing can stand in the way of my Lox and Bagel with cream cheese.

  8. You amuse me big time with this post! Love all your tartines!

  9. Your results look fantastic. And kudos for using gherkins. I skipped that part.

  10. Everything just sounds better in French. I will remove my tongue from my cheek and not say any bad words about stuff on toast.

  11. Hilarious, though I don’t know about PB&J Tartine. I’ve never been a fan even with the two pieces were pressed together. I made lunch packing challenging for my mother. The roast beef with cornichons was my favorite of Dorie’s tartine creations.

  12. My, but what a gorgeous and tempting post. And I love the French food. You know me, I am pretty much all Italian, all the time. So this is most welcome.

  13. I love this…and who knew pb&j could be so tantalizing!?! Of course, everything sounds better in French. I think your alter ego open face sandwiches look divine!

  14. I appear to have been constrained by La Mama to Tartine a la Braunschweiger and La Mayonnaise. Next time let’s make smorrebrod.

  15. I think your fortune is made, Trevor! Tartine le beurre d’arachide and tartine gelée de raisin are the perfect dishes to launch your French food truck. Tres L.A.

  16. I love that you shared your recipe for Tartines Le Beurre D’arachide & Gelée de Raisin!