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French Fridays with Dorie: Dieter’s Tartine

Dorie Greenspan dieter's tartine

I’ll admit that since I’ve had Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table, I have completely misunderstood the title of this week’s recipe (Dieter’s Tartine, p 38). For so very very long (as in, until a couple of days ago), I had thought this recipe was one of Dorie’s recipes she names after her friends who either give her the inspiration or the recipe, so, a certain Dieter. And no, I don’t always read EVERY headnote in a book immediately…

Dieter's tartine by Dorie Greensapn in Around my French Table

Actually, no. This is about not a person but a thing. A DIET, in fact. (Ah! Lightbulb moment!) Or the sort of tartines (open-faced sandwiches) you eat when you are on a diet – au régime en français. Apparently popular with ladies who lunch in Paris because it’s “filling but not fattening, pretty but not precious and fun for any season” this is made with non-fat fromage blanc (or a mix of cottage cheese and sour cream) topped with cubes of cucumber and tomato or as Dorie says “just go with what you’ve got. It’s what the French do daily.”

Around my French Table Dieter's tartine Ok well if DORIE herself is telling me to go rogue on a recipe go with what I’ve got, I’m all over it. Not having any pain Poilâne in my house on the day I made this did not prove an issue because what I DID have was a gift from a friend who had come over for dinner the night before – muffins from the Boulevard Raspail market here in Paris. Some of the best muffins I have eaten, in fact. How ironic that a guy in Paris does the English muffin so well (actually it’s an American guy – Michael Healy – and Dorie has written about him here and there’s a lovely story about the lady who fell in love with the Muffin Man here). I thought they would make an excellent base for my tartines.

French Fridays with Dorie dieter's tartine from Around my French Table

Oh and look, no fromage blanc in my house either (and wasn’t about to go and buy perishables as I head off to the Languedoc tomorrow – needed to use up what I had in the fridge. So, crumbled goat cheese.

This made an excellent brunch for one – that meal you have when you forget to eat breakfast and then it’s nearly time to leave the house for a four-hour walking tour and you need something substantial but light (since it’s 35˚C outside) in your tummy. Maybe it was good I didn’t go too “diet” then ;)

Dieter's tartine from Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie

Not a huge revelation in terms of me knowing this would be good before I made it but one to remember. Now, if I could only get those muffins in Toronto….

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15 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Dieter’s Tartine

  1. Dessert By Candy July 26, 2013 at 02:05 #

    Nice substitution especially since it conveniently uses up whatever you had in the kitchen! The muffin does look very very good. I bet the tang of goat cheese really livens up this tartine too.

  2. Teresa July 26, 2013 at 03:25 #

    This is definitely one of those versatile Dorie ideas – good for what you’ve got. I love the look of those muffins, too. Who says a French breakfast has to be centred around la baguette?

  3. Cakelaw July 26, 2013 at 04:19 #

    I was worried that I wouldn’t like this one – and was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps it’s that childhood aversion to veg that still lives in me. Yours looks so fresh and healthy.

  4. Liz July 26, 2013 at 06:13 #

    I agree that you could use so many breads and cheeses…yours looks perfect…especially appealing since you ate them in Paris :)

  5. Cher July 26, 2013 at 07:46 #

    The muffin does look good!
    I think following directions is highly overrated :-)

  6. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes July 26, 2013 at 08:31 #

    Goat cheese is always an intelligent substitution imo. Love those english muffins! And also that you mention the boulevard raspail which appears in one of the coming recipes Mardi. Have a great weekend!

  7. Mary Hirsch July 26, 2013 at 17:32 #

    Well, Mardi, you and Andrea make good company. Both of you had your Dieter moments and, after reading both your Posts, I understand the problem. Too funny. I hope this filled you up before your Walk/Tour. Please enjoy France for me, especially the SofF. Although I made the right decision not to go, at that moment in time, I regret missing the three weeks in France. Hopefully I will get there in the near future. It’s hot in the South but enjoy.

  8. Betsy July 26, 2013 at 22:19 #

    Your Dieter/dieter confusion gave me a giggle. Those American English muffins in Paris look wonderful. Are they whole wheat? Looks like a perfect pre-walk pick-me-up. I also made this with goat cheese and it was delicious.

  9. ayu | the spicy lemongrass July 27, 2013 at 01:58 #

    I used goat cheese too! Although not the spreadable kind but still loved it! I bet it tastes really good with chèvre. I love Boulevard Raspail market but I find it to be a bit … hmm “snobby” and overpriced sometimes (it is after all located in one of the most expensive neighbourhood in Paris). I prefer the more laidback marché de mouffetard. Check it out if you have the time. Bon weekend!

  10. Parisbreakfast July 27, 2013 at 02:57 #

    For even more Dieter you could make a veririne like Frederic Cassel’s here..
    http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.fr/2013/07/frederic-cassel.html
    I hope you were not caught up in the orage!
    Maybe when you get back we can meetup?
    Cheers
    Carolg
    Must look for the Muffin Man at Raspail…

    • Mardi Michels July 29, 2013 at 14:15 #

      Hi Carol, Unfortunately I’ll just be in Paris for a half day on my return – was already there a month. Catch you next time?

  11. Christy July 27, 2013 at 12:36 #

    It is perfect for those times you forgot a meal and need something to get by. I also loved the fact that you could improvise and use what you have.

  12. Coco in the Kitchen July 27, 2013 at 19:42 #

    Leave it to the French to turn the simplest things into the most irresistible.

  13. Diane Balch July 28, 2013 at 12:35 #

    I often have to re-read Dorie’s blurbs and recipes it doesn’t always click with me either. Loved your substitution and yes, I want a English Muffin that is not a commerical Thomas’s… I never see them fresh.

  14. sanya August 1, 2013 at 07:10 #

    I thought this recipe was named after a person as well! It wasn’t until I started reading everyone’s blogs that it twigged! It was a bit of an aha moment :)
    Beautiful job on your tartine!!!

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