Americans often eat on the run. We hit the drive-thru and munch lunch while driving or grab a wrap to eat while running errands. The French have a better idea. Every meal is meant to be enjoyed, savored leisurely and eaten with a fork and knife.
In Paris, café menus often list the all-American hamburger. The French may have adopted the burger, but they haven't accepted the American way to eat it and prefer the fork and knife method. The same goes for their version of the open-faced sandwich, called a tartine (tar-teen) and often served on the famous Poilane bread.
These tartines are easy to make at home and lend themselves to any fillings normally seen between two slices of bread. When native tomatoes make their appearance, layer slices with mozzarella and basil on a whole grain slice. Or try a breakfast tartine spread with ricotta cheese and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.
Don't forget the fork and knife.
>>1 artisan bread, such as ciabatta or a round whole grain loaf
>>Dijon mustard, optional
>>2 baked red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced
>>1/4 pound ham, sliced thick
>>1 small wheel camembert or wedge of brie, cut into small pieces
Slice the ciabatta on the diagonal to make long slices of the bread. If using a round loaf, slice the bread down the middle to get the longest slices possible. Use 6 to 8 slices of the bread. Spread each slice of bread with mustard, if desired. Arrange slices of potato on the bread, leaving some of the bread showing. Top with ham and cheese. Toast the tartines under the broiler or in a toaster oven until the cheese has melted. Serve with pickles and olives. Makes 6 to 8 tartines.