For Valentines Day, way back in February, S took me to a restaurant on Mulberry Street called Tartinery. It was a lovely little spot and the Tartines, french open faced sandwiches, were amazing. Tartinery uses the famed Miche bread from Poilane bakery in Paris, which is supposedly the ideal bread for a tartine.
I will not pretend to be a sophisticated type who has been to Paris and experienced a true french tartine, or a fresh slice of Miche in its homeland, but the smoked salmon tartine we had was heavenly, and the cucumber and labne one was nearly as divine.
The filet mignon I devoured was not half bad either. I left that dinner knowing I wanted to make my own tartine, but I wasn't sure what ingredients I wanted to use. I knew I wanted to steer away from something traditionally french as I tend to like to put my American spin on everything. And I wanted to walk the fine line between lunch and snack, which is pretty ideal tartine territory.
And then I got swept up in cooking other, also delicious things and it wasn't until the other day that I remembered my tartine aspirations. And then I thought of another holiday meal with S, at Locanda Verde for my birthday three years ago, and a lavender and burnt orange ricotta toast we had.
I put two and two together, and here you have a ricotta and fig tartine with thyme and lavender. I did not use the famous Poilane Miche, though I've heard if you jump through the right hoops on the right days a loaf, or atleast of portion of one, can be all yours right here in New York. Apparently there is a list, and a call you're supposed to receive if you're on it, and a particular day of the week you pick it up on, if the call comes in, which apparently it frequently doesn't, and then if you make it to the bakery before it's all sold out, and I think I'll stick to enjoying the miche based tartines at Tartinery. I used a regular old loaf of sourdough from Whole Foods, but I recommend finding the largest loaf of bread you can, preferably one of those round boule loaves.
If you're in New York City, Orwashers sells a really great chardonnay miche that is a pretty good approximation. I pick mine up at New Amsterdam market, but seeing as it's not yet the season for that market, I had to make due with my Whole Foods loaf, which was still super tasty, so I don't think you have to be picky about which bread you use. Just use what you like.
S and I ate these for lunch when I made them, which was delightful, but I think they're also wonderfully suited to being appetizers at a cocktail or dinner party, or part of the meal at a brunch or lunch party. It could very easily be doubled to serve larger parties as well. Enjoy!
Fig and Prosciutto Tartines with Lavender-Thyme Ricotta and Honey
Makes 4 large tartines or 6 small ones.
1 tbsp butter
8 oz ricotta
1/3 C plus 1 tbsp honey, separated
3 tsp chopped thyme
2 tsp lavender
6 small or 4 large bread slices
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Cut the figs in half length wise and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan, cut side up.
In a small bowl combine the butter and 1 tbsp of honey, melt in microwave on 1/2 power for 25 seconds or in a warm water bath and mix to combine. Brush mixture over each fig, and roast for 10-12 minutes, until figs are soft and roasty. If you'd like to toast your bread, leave oven on after removing figs.
While figs are roasting, combine 1/3 C honey with thyme, and lavender in a small sauce pan and heat over low heat for 3-5 minutes, until thyme and lavender flavor has soaked into the honey. Place ricotta in a small mixing bowl and pour 1/2 the honey and herbs over it. Mix well.
Strain the second half of the honey mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small liquid measuring cup, set aside.
If you'd like to toast your bread, pop the slices into your preheated oven, directly on the rack for 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted. If your bread is super fresh and soft and lovely, you don't have to worry about toasting it if you prefer it soft.
Chop your prosciutto up into little strips and bits about 3/4 of and inch long. I don't worry about mine looking uniform, rustic tartines look lovely.
Spread the ricotta thickly onto the bread slices, top with roasted figs and bits of prosciutto, then drizzle a bit of the strained honey mixture onto each one. If the honey has thickened too much to pour, just warm it up a bit over low heat.
Serve immediately and enjoy!