While the open-faced sandwich has become commonplace and available on every local menu, especially in the vegan space, Dame Prue Leith is blowing the top off the tartines with her new book, Bliss On Toast.
Best known as the outspoken and colorful judge on the internationally popular Great British Bake Off, Leith’s new book of 75 recipes eclipses the ubiquitous and mundane avocado and humdrum mushroom versions.
Everything from cheese and eggs, meat and poultry, to desserts and breakfasts on a wide variety of bread bases, recipes include bubble and squeak with Hollandaise on fried bread, mussels with sea asparagus in bread bowls, chicken tikka with yogurt on naan, as well as apricots, almonds and clotted cream on an English muffin. Dessert recipes include a baked apple with mincemeat on a teacake, and bananas with ice cream and brandy syrup on panettone.
The rustic open-face sandwich, or tartine, has been a staple throughout Europe since the Middle Ages. Australian restaurateur Bill Granger started a worldwide phenomenon in 1993 when he served his first plate of smashed avocado on toast in a corner café in Sydney. Whether it’s fish smörgås in Sweden or the Welsh Rarebit in Britain, as the South African restaurateur, chef, caterer, television presenter/broadcaster, journalist, cookbook author and novelist says, “anything that’s good is good on the right toast.”
There are plenty of tips and recipes in the Keen Cooks section, like how to make two different types of Hollandaise and your own hummus, quick pickling and a toast tutorial, making the recipes fun and simple for the home cook, while still maintaining the desired wow factor for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Join me and the Grand Dame in person for candid conversation and toast talk on Friday, at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble at the Grove.
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