Midterms start tomorrow, in all their grueling glory, so my tartine will be a simple, satisfying dish. Given a bit of forethought, this can be thrown together by a ravenous student in the few minutes between classes and study sessions.
I regret being unable to post a photo, as the colors are stunning: the vivid magenta of the beets and the deep jewel green of the asparagus against soft green of the avocado, all blanketed by the pale cream of the melting cheddar, and the contrast of these yielding textures and mingling colors against the springy tangle and mixed shades of the baby greens…Is quite lovely, and inspired in me a Cézanne-like appreciation of color as color and shape as shape.
I have included a recipe for items marked with an asterisk*.
(all amounts are approximate; serves one)
2 slices wheat bread*, lightly toasted
1 small roasted beet* (beetroot, betterave)
5-6 stalks roasted asparagus*
2 mushrooms, sliced thin
1/4 ripe avocado
1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese or mild goat cheese
2 cups mixed greens
splash of balsamic vinaigrette
1 ounce dried cranberries
1 ounce glazed walnuts*
kosher salt, black pepper, lemon juice (optional)
Mash avocado coarsely with a few drops of lemon juice, a pinch of kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread avocado on slices of lightly toasted whole wheat bread. Top with beet slices, asparagus, carrots, and sliced mushrooms. Dot with goat cheese or top with slice of cheddar; broil until cheese melts.
Slice diagonally; serve on bed of mixed greens lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and tossed with glazed walnuts and dried cranberries.
The suave creaminess of the avocado and cheddar, barely seasoned with lemon and salt, melds beautifully with the earthy, sweet intensity of the roasted vegetables. The salad, with its slightly bitter mix of greens and piquant dressing, is fresh and crisp, an excellent foil for all that complex sweetness. The walnuts provide a crunch and echo the earthiness of the beets, while the cranberries give a bright flavor to each bite of greens.
While I love the simplicity and smoothness of cheddar for this tartine, the tang of a mild goat cheese works well, too, making a slightly more sophisticated dish of these simple ingredients.