Last updated on February 10th, 2021
Written and Photographed 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Fontal cheese, along with dates and arugula for freshness.
If you don’t have Fontal, any meltable cheese like Fontina or even Monterey Jack will do.
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced
- olive oil
- 4 bacon slices
- 1 heaping handful of arugula
- 1 heaping handful of dates, pitted and sliced into1/4-inch pieces
- 1 pear, sliced into 1/4-inch slices, then each slice halved
- 1 heaping handful of shredded Fontal cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the toaster oven to 375 degrees F.
- Fill a baking sheet with bread slices and brush olive oil generously on each.
- Toast in the oven for about 7-10 minutes.
- Repeat until all slices are toasted.
- Place the bacon in a skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy.
- Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease, and crumble into 1/2-inch pieces when the bacon is cool enough to handle.
- To assemble each slice, top with a little arugula, then a pear slice, a bit of bacon, a piece of date, and sprinkle the Fontal cheese on top.
- If you wish, you can put the tartines back in the oven to melt the cheese a bit.
- 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.