Fennel and Zucchini Salad
I never skip lunch. In fact, I never skip breakfast or dinner either. Whenever P. thinks that I am becoming somewhat grumpy — in his own words — he also believes that a good way for me to become a nicer person again is to feed me. For the longest time, I fought it, arguing that one, I was actually not grumpy, and two, food had nothing to do with it. But I have learned, reluctantly nevertheless, that once I am fed, the chance that I relax will double indeed. Maybe even triple, sometimes, if we are lucky.
You know it. In France, lunch is a big thing. At least during the old days, the way I remember them. At home, my mum would cook a warm lunch every day, seven days out of the week, served at noon, à midi, with the entire family sitting at the kitchen table. Years later, it has not changed. Every time I return to visit, I know that if I hear the bells of the village church chime noon, everything will stop. C’est l’heure du déjeuner ! Lunch Time!
And so, I will have to make a confession.
Does it drive me insane?
Yes, it does.
“Why does it have to be at noon? ” I have asked them, many times. […] Bing bing bing bing […] Twelve distinct rings. “Ah, on mange à midi,” (we eat at noon) they respond, invariably.
I will have to confess, again.
I find it charming and cute, because this is my parents’ way. At 11:45, my dad would claim that he is not hungry. At 12:00, he is all of sudden ravenously hungry. He, my dad, is like this.
Would I want to change it?
Because whenever I am back there, the pleasure to sit at my mum’s kitchen table with a homemade warm lunch is the same! At this time of the day, we stop and relax.
My lunches have changed, obviously. I live a different life, in a different place. In a different culture. But there is something that I am convinced will never change. Forget about lunch? Impossible! I am too well-trained to run that risk. I might no longer hear the bells of the village church but deep inside, I know. Or, I have to face it. C’est vrai. True. When I become grumpy, there is a high chance that the reason is simple. I am hungry.
“Tu manges une tartine au déjeuner ?” (you are eating a tartine for lunch?) my dad said with a hint of surprise in his voice when he called at noon.
“Oui. J’avais faim” (I was hungry).
For lack of time to prepare anything else, a tartine with a salad is always going to be a better choice than nothing.
And on top, how nice!
For the Zucchini and Fennel Salad
- 1 zucchini
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Tarragon, freshly chopped
- Salt and pepper
For the Honey Prosciutto Tartines
- 4 sourdough country bread slices
- 9 oz ricotta cheese
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1 avocado
- 1 pear
- Pink radish, a few
- Chives, chopped
- 1 tsp hazelnut oil
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Wildflower pure honey (1 tsp about for each tartine)
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Fleur de sel (optional)
- Place the bread slices under the broil for a few min, until toasted. Remove.
- In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, hazelnut oil, ground coriander and pepper.
- Add the chopped chives (about 1 to 2 Tbsp).
- Spread this mixture on each slice.
- Top with 1 slice of prosciutto, and continue with slices of avocado and pear on some, radish slices on others.
- Sprinkle with fleur de sel if you want (but the prosciutto is salty already). Top with the honey and chopped chives. Eat with the Zucchini and Fennel Salad.
Pour la salade de courgette/fenouil
- 1 courgette
- 1 bulbe de fenouil
- 2 càs de jus de citron
- 2 càs d’huile d’olive
- Estragon, haché
- Sel et poivre
Pour les tartines au prosciutto/miel
- 4 tranches de pain de campagne ou au levain
- 250 g de ricotta
- 4 tranches prosciutto
- 1 avocat
- 1 poire
- Quelques radis roses
- Ciboulette, hachée
- 1 càc d’huile de noisette
- 1 càc de coriandre en poudre
- Miel aux fleurs liquide (1 càc par tartine environ)
- Fleur de sel (facultatif)
- Placez les tranches de pain sous le gril pendant quelques min, jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient bien grillées. Mettez de côté.
- Dans un bol, mélangez la ricotta, la coriandre, l’huile de noisette et assaisonnez de poivre.
- Ajoutez la ciboulette hachée, environ 1 à 2 cas.
- Étalez cette crème sur chaque tranche de pain.
- Ajoutez une tranche de prosciutto, et continuez avec des tranches d’avocat et poire intercalées sur certaines, des radis sur les autres.
- Saupoudrez de fleur de sel si vous le souhaitez (mais le prosciutto est déjà salé). Ajoutez le miel et de la ciboulette. Dégustez avec la salade de courgette/fenouil.
This is amazing! It makes me think of a vineyard for some reason. Like I would pack this wonderful creation of prosciutto, ricotta,avocado and pear in a a picnic basket and head out to my favorite winery and sit under a tree, eat this, drink some wine and take a little afternoon nap…Thanks for giving me this vision!
wow this looks so amazing. i have a lot of catching up to do with your most recent posts… so I take it you’re home from vaca.. isn’t it awful. I’m in relaxation withdrawl 😉
J’adore ça donne très envie !
Don’t radishes sing of spring? I have been photographing them myself, lately, thinking that their white and pink translucence was made for early spring sunlight.
I have a question. Is there a food that can work as a good replacement for prosciutto? Perhaps smoked salmon? somehting else? I have never tasted it but I only eat Kosher and would love to make so many recipes that call for Prosciutto, so I am wondering if you can tell me what might be a good alternative.
These are beautiful open-faced sandwiches, but I might have to turn them into normal sandwiches if I wanted to eat them at work! They definitely gave me some inspiration to make some delicious sandwiches for lunch (at work) this spring!
what an incredible and beautiful post! i, too, have been fixated on tartines as of late. your post is so inspiring. thank you!
I just love the combination of prosciutto and honey! Almost too pretty to eat.
Very pretty but never to pretty to eat! 11:45 not hungry, noon famished!! That’s sweet!
I wish I could get Gorn to connect grumpy and hungry, but he just doesn’t seem to get it.
Toujours superbe et délicieusement frais… ces petits radis sortent directement d’un conte de fée…
I think I finally know why I’m grumpy at 3pm now, do you think your tartines are good 3pm food too?! I shall try today, I rarely have open sandwiches, just habit to add another slice of bread on top!
Gorgeous as always, beautiful Béa!
Darn it be you are posting quicker than I can read I am so behind. The colors on those are fantastic!
You and I have something in common. I always get grumpy when I am not fed properly. Recently, I am having 6 meals a day. I am not a hobbit and am not fat either. 😉
Beautiful arrangement and photography, as always! I’m so jealous of your adorable little radishes – they look so crisp and delicious, unlike the wilted offerings at my grocery store 🙁
Lovely, lovely tartines. I’ve just started making them (why never before? I don’t know.), slicing the loaves of bread lengthwise and piling on whatever I have in the fridge. Then I throw it all under the broiler for a minute or two to warm up.
Fantastic, j’adore ces déjeuners sur le pouce mais si sains et appétissants ! A noter pour ma lunchbox
très jolies !
Beautiful as usual! These tartines look and sound so delicious…a great lunch for me any day! I will keep these combinations in mind Bea…thank you!
Bonjour Béa – no one would ever want to skip lunch if this was on the menu! I love an open faced sandwich – showing off all its delicious fillings!
Quelles images sublimes..!
Your tartines look absolutely divine. I’ve never thought of putting honey in it; I will have to try it out. Beautiful photos!!
I never realized all these years that I’ve been eating “Tartines” when I left the top of a sandwich? Of course! No wonder I love everything French
Gorgeous as always 🙂
Dans ma famille, c’est 12.30! Et je suis pas de bon poil si je depasse 1pm!
Des tartines aussi belles, j’en veux bien tous les jours!
these are so cute! I should start eating tartines for lunch too 🙂
ces tartines sont alléchantes. j’ai déjà testé celle aux radis, j’adore! est ce encore la peine de le dire: les photos sont comme toujours superbes!
spectacular photos, and I especially liked the ones of Australia – glad you enjoyed my city! I have been reading your blog for a while now and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful recipies and pictures- they inspire me every day.
pour le déjeuner, mes parents sont encore maléables, mais pour le dîner, à partir de 19h00, mon père commence à grogner !!
That looks unbelievably good right now. And you have to love parents. So wonderfully set in their ways!
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