Wednesday, August 28, 2013

white bean, slow roasted tomato and caramelized onion tartine

I'm mad for tartines. I like the word tartine. It sounds posh but its not. Its nothing more than an open-faced sandwich,  a piece of toast with a pile of stuff on it. Essentially the components of a good tartine start with a nice slice or two of country loaf toasted and rubbed with a piece of garlic. Next I like some kind of spread, it needs something to anchor the other components. It can be a spreadable cheese, pesto, egg salad, hummus, nut butter or a mashed avocado.  Next would come a vegetable, fruit or deli sliced meat perhaps and then finished with something like balsamic vinegar, honey, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and some freshly chopped herb. The possibilities are endless. Here's what I used today:

White bean spread (my favorite from Super Natural Every Day)
caramelized onions
roasted tomatoes
fresh basil
Maldon sea salt

I like to cook up big batch of caramelized onions because they are so freaking good and can turn the simplest omelet or sandwich into something amazing. This would have been fine with just the spread and the onions.
There are many different and conflicting approaches to caramelizing onions. I came across this article awhile back that really hit the nail on the head about how and why recipe writers mislead the reader into thinking that the process of caramelizing onions is quicker than it really is.  The articles conclusion states that "the best time to make caramelized onions is yesterday". Ina Garten's approach is "turn your back on them". Low and slow is the key.
I found this yesterday. It's a "How to" blog post with great process photos. I can't even begin to express the beauty of caramelized onions. They're inexpensive, you'll sharpen your knife skills in no time and they practically make themselves.
My next favorite fridge staple is the white bean spread I seem to always have on hand these days. In addition to it being super good, after work, late-night snackage with some baked pita chips, or just spread on my toast, it makes a perfectly awesome bed for holding onto those gooey good caramelized onions and sweet little slow roasted tomatoes. Topped off with some slivered basil and a sprinkle of maldon sea salt and this comes together in no time, providing you've already got your onions in the fridge.  I was finishing them off this morning and I noticed a box of cherry tomatoes I'd forgotten about and in need of urgent care.
To slow roast tomatoes, slice them in half and lay them, cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt. Roast them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Again, a low and slow approach to roasted tomatoes has its merits too. In Gwyneth Paltrow's first book she roasts plum tomatoes at 200 degrees for 4 hours.  Slivered basil  and Maldon sea salt posh it up

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