Making crispy tartines at Le Pain Quotidien

I recently had the pleasure of making French tartines in a beautiful new bakery/restaurant Le Pain Quotidien in Coconut Grove. It was fun to gather around a communal table with other food writers and learn this technique from the restaurant’s Founder Alain Coumont.

Coumont opened the first Le Pain Quotidien in Brussels, Belgium in 1990 with the idea of creating a place that guests could adopt as a second home, and be served food and bread that adhered to the principles of simple cooking and slow living that he found – and still finds – so important.

His passion showed through on that evening, as he described the fresh-baked sourdough bread, made in house, that we used to create the tartines.

As we sipped on wine, he took us through the process of making the avocado toast and prosciutto, ricotta and fig varieties, taking the time to speak about each ingredient.

Ingredients for the avocado toast


Avocado toast ready for slicing


Avocado toast triangles ready to be enjoyed

First, fresh avocado along with kale salad with carrot ribbons were placed in front of us. We gently spread the mashed avocado liberally on our toast which was topped by the colorful kale salad. A quick sprinkling of salt and cracked black pepper, some chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and the tartine was ready to be cut.

Coumont also showed us the proper way to cut them, first by removing the ends a bit and then slicing them into neat triangles. I recommend trying this at home. The presentation is lovely and the flavors are simple, satisfying and delicious.

Ingredients for the prosciutto and fig await assembly on sourdough bread


Prosciutto, prosciutto and more prosciutto


Presenting…the prosciutto and fig

And then all sliced up

Next, we grabbed more fresh baked bread and got to work on another tartine. Fresh ricotta, large quantities of thinly sliced prosciutto placed on a wooden board, sliced green apples and figs in their own bowls and peppery arugula were all laid out in front of us.
The bread got spread first with the fresh ricotta, a layer of prosciutto came next, followed by a sprinkling of figs then arugula. The apple slices were placed last then sprinkled with salt and pepper and given a drizzle of honey. Classic combinations, fresh ingredients, you just can’t go wrong.
To think that the evening could get any better seems impossible but it did, when I packed up some of these delectable tartines to go!
Le Pain Quotidien, 3425 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove, (786) 805-4743. Click here to visit their website.

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