What is a tartine?
Tartine is simply the French term for an open-faced sandwich, usually with spreadable ingredients. But these lovely tartines, with their grilled bread and generous piling of avocado, might have more in common with the “avocado toast” that’s become so popular in the States recently.
When it comes to making the perfect tartine, simplicity is perfection!
The ingredients that top these little tartines are humble enough: red onions and avocados. But drizzle them with a zingy vinaigrette of pungent roasted coriander, tangy lime juice, delicately flavored avocado oil and fiery cayenne… and watch these “common” ingredients come alive.
Add the wonderful flavors that come from grilling the onions and the bread and you’ve got tartines that you’ll be eager to sink your teeth into.
They make a perfect appetizer, lunch or snack for summer and fall. Bon appétit!
Food & wine pairing: Argentina, Torrontés with avocado and grilled onion tartines
A perfumed white like a Gewürztraminer or a Torrontés from Argentina are exquisite with these tartines. The wines’ exotic aromas harmonize beautifully with the flavorful vinaigrette while complementing the creamy avocados and smoky, grilled onions.
Avocado and grilled onion tartines with roasted coriander-lime vinaigrette
makes 8 tartines or 4 servings
active time: 30 min
For the onions
- 2 medium red onions – peeled and cut crosswise in 1/4″ slices
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
For the tartines
- 2/3 French or sourdough baguette
- 2 ripe avocados – halved, pit removed, skinned and cut in 1/4″ pieces
- 1/3 cup small basil leaves, or large leaves torn in 1/2″ pieces
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Step 1: For the onions – Place the onion slices in a large bowl. Add the oil, salt and pepper and toss with your fingers until well coated. When the grill is ready, place the onion slices in a perforated stainless steel pan and grill until golden-brown, tossing with tongs only occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
- Cook’s note: If you don’t have a grill, preheat oven to 475ºF (246ºC). Place the onion slices in a non-stick roasting pan large enough to hold the onion pieces in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well and spread evenly in the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes until onions are tender. Remove foil. Toss the onions again. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for 10 to 15 additional minutes, until golden-brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- Step 2: To make the vinaigrette – Heat a small heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the coriander seeds and cook until they turn a dark color and are fragrant — about 2 minutes — shaking the pan constantly and taking care not to burn the spice. Transfer to a mortar and grind until coarsely powdered. Place the coriander in a small bowl. Add the lime juice, oil, salt and cayenne. Whisk until well blended and set aside.
- Step 3: When ready to serve (do not prepare these ahead of time as the bread will get soggy), cut the bread in four 4″-long pieces. Slice each piece lengthwise in half. You should have 8 tartines. Grill the bread slices cut-side-down until grill marks appear, or place under the broiler until golden-brown. Top the slices with the grilled onions and the chopped avocado. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the basil leaves and serve immediately.