Last year about this time I was totally smitten with .................
............... tartines! I had just come back from a visit with my daughter and her family in London. We had dined several times at a lovely restaurant that specializes in tartines. Tartine is just a fancy name for an open face sandwich which is often toasted and served warm. Coming home from London, I spent a week blogging about tartines of all sorts; an Applewood Bacon, Fig and Fontina Tartine, another with Pesto, Prosciutto and Shaved Asparagus along with several others. I loved that tartines can be put together quickly, and yet make a delicious lunch or dinner.
I had almost forgotten about tartines until today when, after a busy day, I needed a fast and easy dinner. I had a few slices of prosciutto in my deli drawer, some fresh arugula and part of a basket of beautiful red strawberries left over from my Vanilla Bean Cupcakes w/ Fresh Strawberry Icing (yesterday's post). Pulling all those ingredients out of the fridge, for some reason, reminded me of my friend, the tartine.......... and the next thing I knew, dinner was on the way!
I brushed a few slices of artisan bread with olive oil and toasted them under the broiler till golden. The crispy bread was topped with thinly sliced prosciutto, mild Provolone, shredded Parmesan and crumbled creamy Ricotta then returned back to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheeses. The finishing touch... arugula and fresh strawberries piled high and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction. The result... simple, fresh and super delicious!
Three Cheese & Prosciutto Tartine w/ Arugula-Strawberry Salad
½ cup balsamic vinegar
4 thick slices rustic bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
8 slices thinly sliced provolone
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
½ cup ricotta cheese, crumbled
2 cups baby arugula (or rocket, as they say in the UK)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
8 medium fresh strawberries, halved, each half cut in quarters, lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Place balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced to about half its original volume. Mixture should be thick and somewhat syrupy - it will get a bit thicker as it cools.
2. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each slice of bread lightly with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and set under the broiler for about 1 minute or until golden brown, flip bread slices to other side and repeat. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Remove baking sheet from oven and change oven from broil to bake - 425˚F.
3. Place 2 slices of prosciutto on each slice of toast followed by 2 slices Provolone, then shredded Parmesan. Sprinkle crumbled Ricotta evenly over the 4 slices. Place cheese topped toast back in oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and melted, about 3-4 minutes - watch carefully at this point as it's easy to burn at this temperature.
4. While tartines are baking, toss arugula with basil and the one tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. After removing tartines from oven, pile arugula atop of each and nestle strawberries into arugula. Drizzle with balsamic reduction - serve immediately. Bon Appétit!