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Petite Tartines for the Oven-less

Written by Christine Miksis

Tu n’as pas de four?!

You food lovers heard that right (unless you don’t know too much French): I lived for two years of my life without an oven.

Non, I am not referring to my college years at Penn State’s Simmons Hall dormitory when I was wearing hideous black Steve Madden four-inch platform wedge boots and dipping College Pizza in ranch dressing at 3:00 am.

I know what you’re thinking—ranch dressing and pizza? It’s a thing there, okay? Or maybe you were thinking how awful my shoes were. In any event, don’t ask.

tartines topped with arugula, bacon, pears, dates, and cheese
Photo: Casey Barber

Anyway, I was a few years past college when I moved to Paris. And it’s a thing there for renters to take their ovens and refrigerators with them when they pack up and leave…c’est la vie.

But in Paris, my palate was developing (my shoes were way better, too) in the land of croissants, baguettes, macarons, tartines, and soufflés.

Naturally, I was curious about baking and cooking, like a young Julia Child.

tartines topped with arugula, bacon, pears, dates, and cheese
Photo: Casey Barber

Unfortunately, my oven-less quarters left me unable to make delicious French baked pastries in the privacy of my own home, although the easy alternative of scooping up a little somethin’ somethin’ at the patisserie was pas mal.

So what’s a girl to do with the itch to bake but without an oven or sufficient delivery options? She buys a toaster oven, that’s what.

And she thinks of recipes to share with all of the students, lazies, and people burning the midnight oil who don’t have the time or energy to really bake a big meal.

tartines topped with arugula, bacon, pears, dates, and cheese
Photo: Casey Barber

She also stops talking in the third person.

I was forced to get a bit creative with recipes for the toaster oven. And although at the time it was annoying to be oven-less, I’m happy to be able to share a cute and easy little recipe for mini open faced sandwich bites with you.

These open-faced sandwiches are known in France as tartines—which, of course, makes them sound much fancier than they actually are.

tartines topped with arugula, bacon, pears, dates, and cheese

Like crostini or other things on toast, what you can top your tartines with is completely up to you. Any combination of things already in your fridge and pantry will probably work.

But I’m choosing a cosmopolitan pairing of pears and bacon with Fontina cheese, along with dates and arugula for freshness.

If you don’t have Fontina, any meltable cheese like Monterey Jack or Gouda will do.

You can also substitute apple for pear on these tartines, but keep the bacon and dates. The combination of sweet and salty is a winner.

tartines topped with arugula, bacon, pears, dates, and cheese

Pear and Bacon Tartines

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Tartines, or open-faced sandwiches, are a versatile snack meal or appetizer. Though they can be topped with almost any ingredient, the combination of pears, bacon, dates, and melty cheese is a winning one.


  • 1 baguette, cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • olive oil
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1 cup (1 ounce) arugula
  • 8 dates, pitted and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pear, sliced into 1/4-inch slices, then each slice halved
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese such as Fontina or Monterey Jack
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Fill a baking sheet with bread slices and brush olive oil generously on each.
  3. Toast in the oven for about 7-10 minutes.
  4. Repeat until all slices are toasted.
  5. Place the bacon in a skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy.
  6. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease, and tear in half when the bacon is cool enough to handle.
  7. To assemble each slice, top with a little arugula, then a pear slice, a bit of bacon, a few pieces of date, and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  8. If you wish, you can put the tartines back in the oven to melt the cheese a bit.
  9. Finish with a dusting of chopped pepper.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 531Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 998mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 21g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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  1. haha…hideous Steve Madden wedge boots, love it! The tartines sound amazing and with no effort, who knew something so beautiful and delicious could be done in a toaster oven? Great article!

    1. Jane, I think the Steve Madden boots are a GFS editorial staff trend! I fully admit to wearing those bad boys throughout my college years… maybe we need an embarrassing photos slideshow. :)

  2. Love the idea of a recipe that doesn’t require a full-scale oven, especially since I’m living in very small quarters at the moment!

  3. KidsEatSquid–The Granny Smith would be a nice tarty stand-in.

    C and D– SM Frankenstein boots slideshow… I am digging up a photo now…

  4. And I’m thinking the veggie version would make for a nice nibble as well. Love the footwear comment, what is it about Euro shoes? They just seem way cooler.

  5. I’ve been looking for more recipes to make in the toaster oven. This one looks like fun. That said, I do love my oven, and use it ALL THE TIME!

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