FFWD – Two Tartines from La Croix Rouge


When I tell people I’m part of a group that’s cooking through a French cookbook together, I think they imagine the classic dishes set forth by Julia Child or the regional comprehensiveness of Elizabeth David. There are plenty of classic dishes and regional favourites, it’s true, but the book also reflects the diversity of modern France. It’s further inflected by a sort of translation wrought by its American author, who wrote the book with North American kitchens and pantries in mind.

The recipes are transformed, once again, by the time we post our versions each Friday. Each take on the recipe can’t help but be inflected by the individuals who make them, in kitchens across the world – the United States and Canada, yes, but also Argentina, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, and more.


So, when I tackled this week’s recipes, two tartines from a popular café in Dorie Greenspan’s Paris neighbourhood, it’s not surprising that they ended up with a faint Italian accent. Commercial Drive is still (symbolically, at least) the heart of Vancouver’s Italian community. Many of the cafés, bakeries, and delis have a long family history here, even though the children and grandchildren of their founders have had to move out of the area as housing costs increased.


I made two stops in my quest for ingredients for the tartines. First, I went to The Daily Catch to pick up some smoked Sockeye salmon. Then, I headed over to Bosa for the roast beef and bread. Bosa has opened up an enormous Italian grocery store and deli in the furthest eastern regions of the city, but their original location is just a few blocks away and has a great selection in their deli case.


When I got home, I sliced the whole wheat and millet bread into strips, then toasted them under the broiler.

For the tartine norvégienne, I spread the toast with a bit of mayonnaise, instead of butter, and freshly ground pepper, before layering the salmon and capers on top. I finished them with a squeeze of lemon.

The toast for the tartine saint-germain was spread with a mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard (in hopes the mustard would impart a hint of Paris), then a layer of thinly sliced cornichons, and a generous layer of garlic roast beef.

Roast Beast

The tartines in Around My French Table are a reminder that sandwiches, open-faced or not, can be richly flavoured and sophisticated. I would serve these tartines at a cocktail party or as part of a first course. I’m also counting the days until I can have another Goat Cheese and Strawberry Tartine with local berries.

In the meantime, I’m going to read through the rest of the Doristas’ versions of this week’s tartines, so their personal and regional inflections can inspire my own cooking experiments to come.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this FFWD recipe here: Two Tartines from La Croix Rouge


19 thoughts on “FFWD – Two Tartines from La Croix Rouge

  1. Your beef looks so thin and delicate – gorgeous. I want to go food shopping in Vancouver now – but I will have to wait until the summer as I can’t bear the cold.

    1. Thanks, Gaye, you should! Our weather is going to warm up rapidly over the next few weeks and then it’ll be nice until the end of September.

  2. Great post! I love Bosa and The Daily Catch (the latter of which I visited for the first time last week.) I must say that that first photo is making me so hungry! Also your blog header photo of the crocuses is beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Tricia! I see Christine is broadening your horizons. 😉
      I decided to change the header – they’re snowdrops, which are in bloom for a little while longer in my backyard.

      1. Oh yes I know they are snowdrops – not sure what i was thinking! Oops 🙂

        And yes, C took me to the fish shop and we got lovely sockeye salmon there. I will go back again for sure.

  3. What a wonderful post today, and a great picture. You really showed the dish off well. Most of our salmon around here comes from Norway, but we splurged last week and bought some smoked wild Canadian salmon. It cost us dear, but my husband, who is a more of a connoisseur of smoked fish than I am, declared it to be worth the extra euros.

  4. What a delightful post! It looks like you had both a lovely meal and a lovely time shopping for your ingredients! I thought these were delicious as well. But I’m with you, I’m ready for the strawberry and goat cheese again!

  5. Your tartines look delicious, Teresa. And, I enjoyed sharing your Vancouver shopping tour. I especially love your snowdrops photo. I hope that mine might be there somewhere under all the unmelted snow. Happy Weekend!

  6. Teresa, sometimes these simple meals with wonderful ingredients are just the best! Your Tartines look wonderful and it is such a pleasure to read that you (along with all the rest of us, it seems) enjoyed them so much!
    Loved looking at your wonderful pictures form the stores/markets in Vancouver and reading all about ingredient shopping – what a great post!
    Have a nice Sunday!

  7. the berries went into season here a little while back and we get a value chunk of goat cheese at the store and literally slather halved berries for breakfast in the mornings with a side of toast…. its SO insanely good! 🙂

    your photos are great and I’m jealous of your access to those shops! 😛

  8. Really great photos in this post. This made me miss the specialty Italian shop I used to shop at in California. I need to search harder for something like that closer to me. The photos of yours are making me hungry!

  9. Very lovely. One of the things I really enjoy about French Fridays is seeing how each person invokes their own interpretation of the dish. I have really broadened my cooking horizons through reading the adaptations.
    Fresh strawberries sound so wonderful. Only a few more months!

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