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Tartine with walnuts, lemon, and ricotta pesto and sautéed mushrooms

Let's start with the difference between a tartine and a canapè. There is none! A crostini is an Italian open-faced sandwich made with white bread or a baguette, and a tartine is the French word for the same thing. Food evolved simultaneously within nations and was named in local dialects which leads to some confusion. Here it is a simple matter of the origins of the dish.

This is a lovely sandwich that has subtle flavours. The pop comes from the ricotta pesto that is studded with walnuts and the lovely twist of lime zest for freshness. The sautéed mushrooms add a lovely earthiness. This tartine could easily become dinner as it is quite filling and delicious.

I am also happy to discover bread, and friends, at Loafer and Co. a local bakery of the highest quality. They believe in locally sourced and responsibly grown ingredients for their raw materials. The loaves of bread are made using traditional techniques and have lovely textures and flavours. This loaf was the seeded Brewer's toast, a hearty bread that is made from spent wheat berries from beer distilleries, Geist and Paigambari heritage grain that is upcycled to a lovely loaf with a lightly tart tone. All my bread is coming from here going forward, and yes, you should order from them too.

This is one of those cookbooks that hides in my library, and occasionally I spot it and cook from it. Every recipe is spectacular, and the easy and healthy French cuisine is designed to amaze you. The recipes range from savoury tarts to salads to desserts, each one is beautiful to present and delicious.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.




Ingredients:

For the pesto:

1 clove garlic, finely minced

3 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped

1/4 cup parsley, finely minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoons cream

Salt, to taste

Zest of 1 lime

1 cup ricotta cheese


For the mushrooms:

1 tablespoon oil

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

Salt, to taste1/2 teaspoon pepper


1 loaf sourdough or seeded bread or baguette

2 tablespoons grated sharp cheddar


Start by mixing all the ingredients for the pesto well and taste for salt and herb and adjust as needed. You are looking for a creamy well-flavoured pesto. Set aside in the fridge for the flavours to mingle for at least 2 hours.


Add the oil to a wide frying and add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté on high heat. The mushrooms will give out their juices. Cook till the juices dry out entirely and the mushrooms have a lovely golden colour. Set aside.


Toast the bread if desired. To serve, bring the ricotta pesto to room temperature. Heat the mushrooms. Layer the ricotta onto the toast in a thick layer. Top with a layer of mushrooms and top with a light grating of cheddar. Serve immediately.


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