If we're going to talk Blue Cheese and Pear Tartine, we might start with this. What the heck is a tartine, anyway?
Tartine (the direct translation is "a slice of bread and butter") is how the French refer to an open-faced sandwich, or really anything served on a toasty slice of amazing bread. (Italians have their own version called crostini, or "little toasts.") It's fair to say that in France all kinds of delicious things can become tartine toppings. I've read about whole-in-the-wall tartineries in Paris that turn out glorious little morning, noon, and nighttime snacks using just a toaster oven and a few delicious toppings. It seems that the only limiting factor to what might go on a tartine is a person's imagination.
With this in mind, I decided to make a little collection of tartine that reflects special places right where I live. This Blue Cheese and Pear Tartine recipe samples the micro-cuisine of Oregon's Rogue River valley. Rogue Creamery makes the most fabulous Rogue River Blue cheese. Before aging, the wheels are wrapped in Syrah leaves that have been soaked in pear spirits which is, well, wow! Rogue River Blue is a cool-weather seasonal cheese that sells out every year, and when that happens, their Oregon Blue is my next choice. It is also cave aged, and mild and creamy.
The Rogue River Valley is also famous for its pears, with a long history that goes back to seeds pioneers in covered wagons brought west in the mid-1800s. If you've ever been the happy recipient of Harry & David pears, also a Rogue Valley institution, you know how special our Oregon pears are.
My gift to you!
If you'd like the larger collection of tartine recipes I've dreamed up that reflect Oregon's Columbia River, Hood River, and Willamette Valley, click here to request one.
With the weather drawing more of us outdoors and the days growing longer, springtime feasts and little improptu gatherings are starting to happen. Do think of making blue cheese and pear tartines, either for a special breakfast, a light lunch, or as an appetizer for your get-togethers. Use whatever blue cheese and pears you find at your market.
Oregon's tourism board, Travel Oregon, has a remarkably organized the state into regional "food trails" and provides visitors with lovely guides to each. If you find yourself in my neck of the woods, Travel Oregon will send you a guide prior to your visit. I also offer cooking classes in my home where you can have a wraparound experience-- local food and wine in the Oregon countryside with an expansive view.
If you don't have a trip to Oregon planned you can also replicate our special cuisine at home by sharing one of my online cooking class experiences. Here is more information about my online and in-person cooking classes.
Garlicky Greens and Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Recipe here.
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