Last updated on November 21st, 2016
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 Good. Food. Stories. folk.
Petite Pear, Bacon and Fontal Tartines
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes about 16-20 tartines for 2-3 people
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced
- olive oil
- 4 bacon slices
- 1 pear, sliced into 1/4-inch slices, then each slice halved
- 1 heaping handful of shredded Fontal cheese (feel free to substitute Fontina or another semi-soft and fragrant cheese)
- 1 heaping handful of dates, pitted and sliced into1/4-inch pieces
- 1 heaping handful of arugula
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 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, then 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 thyme and pepper.