by Joy Belamarich of 3 Chairs
When I was growing up, there was one thing I learned to never tell new friends: I don’t like breakfast. If you were eight and you didn’t like waffles with maple syrup or Fruit Loops with cold milk then something was very, very wrong with you.
Years later, I discovered tartines, with a forehead slap. Tartines sound fancy, but they’re essentially open-faced sandwiches…or pieces of toast with something yummy on top. You can dress them up however you want, and this is how I learned to like breakfast. I always customize my tartines based on what I’m in the mood for each day, and it never gets boring. The only rule, I’d argue, is to get your hands on the best bread you can find.
Toast your bread, then work from the bottom up, starting with a spreadable ingredient and ending with the toppings—say, a drizzle of honey, a pinch of pepper flakes or a fried egg. Feel free to swap out ingredients: Nutella could be almond butter, strawberries could be figs or sliced pears, avocado could be smashed peas or edamame. For an easy brunch, prepare a few different tartines, slice them into thirds so everyone can try them, and serve with fresh fruit and coffee.
Nutella with olive oil, toasted almonds and sea salt
1 tbsp. Nutella
1 tsp. olive oil
small handful sliced almonds, toasted
Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling
The combination of olive oil and Nutella is unexpected but delicious—the olive oil rounds out the sweetness in the Nutella, and the Nutella brings out the flavors in the olive oil. Once you try it, you won’t be able to imagine Nutella any other way. The nuts add texture, and the salt is the perfect finishing touch.
Mashed avocado with feta and sunflower seeds
1/2 small avocado
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
2 tsp. crumbled feta
sunflower seeds, as many as you’d like
red pepper flakes (optional)
There are a million variations on avocado toast, but I turn to this one over and over. The feta is a little tangy and the sunflower seeds add a great salty crunch.
Mascarpone with strawberries, lemon zest and honey
1-2 tbsp. mascarpone
3-4 strawberries, sliced
1 tsp. honey
lemon zest for topping, to taste
Mascarpone is my weakness. I try not to have it all the time, but when I do, I’m almost always having it with strawberries, lemon zest and honey. If you haven’t tried it before, I HIGHLY recommend seeking it out in your grocery store (it’s the star ingredient in tiramisu!).
Goat cheese, radish, arugula and fried egg
1 tbsp. goat cheese
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
small handful arugula
1 fried egg
This is the perfect savory tartine to make on a lazy Saturday morning. I almost always cut it in half so that the yolk spills over everything and creates a rich sauce for my toast, but you could scramble your egg instead, or skip it entirely.