ترتين بالجبن الماعز والهليون بالزعتر
Toasted sourdough bread slices are smeared with creamy goat cheese, topped with roasted asparagus and hardboiled eggs and finished with a generous shower of za'atar.
I love the sight of asparagus in springtime farmers markets as they signify the changing of seasons. They are the first vegetable to pop up after the long, cold winter and make a nutritious and delicious side dish to many meals.
I'm always looking for ways to incorporate them into a dish instead of eating them on the side. Enter the tartine. This asparagus and goat cheese tartine is a fancy dish without the fuss. I usually make this when I'm looking for a light lunch or when a girlfriend stops over for brunch.
What is a tartine?
Tartine (pronounced tar-teen) is the French word for toast and commonly refers to an open-faced sandwich made with toasted bread. They're fun, easy to assemble and you can use whatever ingredients you want. In restaurants, the ingredients are typically fancy (think smoked salmon, soft cheeses, avocado, etc.), but they can be as basic as butter and jam.
Tartines are usually served early in the day, as a breakfast, brunch or lunch meal. I love making different types of tartines when I'm too lazy to cook and I want to use up ingredients in my fridge.
How to eat an open-faced sandwich
Open-faced sandwiches are a bit tricky to eat because the components are likely to fall off with every bite you take. In upscale settings, tartines are typically eaten with a fork and knife. But, if you're just making this for yourself or your family, eat it by hand.
Sourdough bread: You can use any artisanal bread or baguette.
Goat cheese: Also known as chevre, goat cheese is a creamy, crumbly, spreadable cheese made from goat's milk. It is tangy and mildly salty which makes it the ideal cheese to eat simply with bread or paired with a myriad of other fruits, veggies and proteins. To learn about the health benefits of goat cheese, check out this article.
Asparagus: Look for stalks that are firm with closed, tight tips. For this recipe, we'll be roasting the asparagus in the oven, but you can sauté them for about 3-4 minutes if you wish. To learn more about how to select asparagus, check out my previous post.
Za'atar: Za'atar is a popular Middle Eastern spice blend that is usually made up of thyme, oregano, oregano, sumac, salt and sesame seeds, although there are many variations across the region. It is bright, earthy and herby and can be used in many dishes.
Eggs: I love adding eggs to sandwiches. It may seem like an odd choice to pair with asparagus, but trust me: you're not going to want to skip this ingredient!
Yes! The bottoms are tough and have a woodsy flavour. Simply snap them off with your hands or trim with a knife.
You can use any sliced, crusty bread you like.
As with most sandwiches, the components should be stored separately. When you're ready to assemble, simply toast the bread and sauté the asparagus.
Although the goat cheese lends a distinct flavour to this sandwich, you can skip it and use cream cheese.
Yes. Trust me.
Za'atar Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tartine
- 12 stalks asparagus
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon za'atar plus extra for garnish
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- salt to taste
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- goat cheese
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- chili flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
Roasting the asparagus
- Rinse asparagus and trim ends.
- In a large bowl, add olive oil, za'atar, salt, chili flakes (if using) and toss to coat the asparagus.
- Place seasoned asparagus on a baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness.
Preparing the tartine
- Place the bread on a baking tray and place into the already heated oven. Toast for about 3-5 minutes.
- Peel and chop the hardboiled eggs into small chunks.
- Spread one side of each bread with goat cheese. Arrange asparagus on top and sprinkle with egg chunks and za'atar.
- Serve warm or room temperature.