21 years ago, in the summer of 1983, I took my first trip to Europe, including 2 weeks in and around Paris with my friends John and Heidi and their parents George and Jill. On one particularly beautiful day, on lovely patch of grass overlooking some glorious château (I don’t remember the name, only that it contained a Rafael and had a huge moat filled with thousands of carp fighting over the breadcrumbs tourists threw to them) John broke out a picnic basket including French red table wine, a fresh bagette, some pâté maison, some soft brie, and several white peaches and nectarines. We then proceeded to make and eat the most delicious open-face sandwiches with all of the ingredients combined, and washed them down with the wine.
What is a Tartine? According to Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini, a tartine (pronounced “tarteen”) is an open faced sandwich – nicely arranged layers of yummy things on a slice of bread.
- Pâté maison
- Soft mild brie
- Slices of fresh, juicy white peaches or nectarines
Take a freshly baked French baguette and slice or tear it in half. Take some pâté maison or "house pâté" and spread it over the bread. Take some soft mild brie cheese and spread it over the pâté. Take slices of sweet juicy white peaches or nectarines and arrange them on top of the cheese and pâté.
The sweetness of the peaches and nectarines provides a delicious balance to the strong flavors from the pâté and cheese. In this arrangement, all of your ingredients must be the best or it won't work. The bread must be fresh and soft. The pâté and brie mild. And the peaches and nectarines must be melt-in-your-mouth ripe and sweet.
This is the perfect summer sandwich, as white nectarines and peaches become ripe in July.