It was a surprise sunny Sunday afternoon here in London, and I wanted to make something to match. I had that Poilâne bread I’d picked up when I passed by the shop last week. Slightly past its peak, but perfect for a crisp tartine. I’d recently been reunited with an old favorite I’d somehow forgotten about when I was in Paris a few weekends ago: warm salad with crottin de chèvre. Remember when that was so popular in those California-style salads? I had kind of gone off it, but after a reunion at Les Deux Magots, I realized I was the one missing out.
So, on Sunday, I made this little version. I put cherry tomatoes and olive oil under the broiler until they popped and charred and wept tomato juice everywhere. Then, I broiled the crottin into the bread, and spooned the tomatoes over the top. Then fresh herbs: little lovely leaves of globe basil that I love getting this time of year, and fresh thyme, had I had any. Sea salt. Black pepper. And, finally, a crowning drizzle on honey–thyme blossom if you’ve got it.
It was fresh, salty, sweet, hearty. And the best part was the way the tomatoes burst like soft-boiled eggs, exploded their delicious freshness all over the plate.
- 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 Crottins de Chèvre (about 5 ounces total)
- 2 large or 4 smaller slices of good pain au levain, such as Poilâne
- Globe basil or thyme leaves
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- A drizzle of honey, preferably thyme flower!
Preheat the broiler with the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil and a good pinch of salt, and spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have just begun to soften and char and burse. Pour the tomatoes and their juice into a bowl, and set aside.
Slice each crottin into 4 discs, and arrange them on the bread. Place the bread on a rack inside a rimmed baking sheet, and broil just until the corners of the breads toasts and the cheese softens: 2 minutes. Place the tartines on a plate, and top with the roasted tomatoes and their juice, salt, pepper, leaves of fresh basil and / or thyme, and a very light drizzle of honey. Devour immediately.print this recipe