With bites of tangy blue cheese between little nibbles of tart apples, and a sweetly scented orange honey to round out the palate, bread elevates from standard to sensational. A little sweet, a little savory and full of delicate, yet rich flavor and textures. This simple, unfussy tartine is perfect for a light lunch, hearty snack or even an alternative to a cheese course.
Psst…this recipe is a featured star in our Gilded Fork Cookbook.
6 nicely-sized slices of country bread
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey (if you can, try orange blossom honey)
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple
6 ounces mild blue cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 orange, zest only
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Extra honey for drizzling
Mandolin or very sharp knife
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, honey and orange blossom water. Spread the mixture over one side of each slice of bread. Toast the bread, butter side up, in the preheated oven until golden and crispy, 5-7 minutes.
Cut the apple in half and slice very thinly using a mandolin or sharp knife. Top the toasted bread with a neatly arranged a layer of about 6-8 slices of apple, covering completely. Crumble the blue cheese and nuts over the apple slices, dividing evenly between the six slices of bread. Lightly zest the orange over each slice tartine, and then season with black pepper to taste.
[Chef’s Note: If not using apples immediately, squeeze some lemon juice over the slices to prevent oxidation.]
Serve the tartine immediately, cold and drizzled with the remaining honey, or warm the tartine under a preheated broiler for 1-2 minutes, just until the cheese is gooey, and then drizzle with honey. Pair with soup or salad for a lovely lunch or dinner, or savor alone as a hearty snack.
Goat cheese or camembert would be a delicious alternative to blue cheese. Try pears instead of apples. Use a new variety of an artisanal honey.
Recipe by Monica Glass / Photo by Jaden Hair