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A Shrimp, Tomato & Arugula Tartine with Mollie Katzen's Creamy Feta with Ground Walnuts

Posted Mar 16 2011 3:06am
A tartine--the popular French sandwich made open-faced and usually with a fancy spread and artfully arranged toppings is perfect when you want a lighter lunch that feels a little special. I spent a sunny morning on the lanai the other day with the beautiful and comprehensive breakfast cookbook, " Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe . " Thumbing through the book looking for millet recipes (I have a bunch of it to use up), I instead got a hankering for her Creamy Feta with Ground Walnuts and thought it would be the perfect savory spread to make this pretty Shrimp, Tomato & Arugula Tartine.

Granted with all the toasted walnuts, this spread is not the prettiest color on it's own but the feta-walnut combination is delicious and in addition to a sandwich spread, it makes an excellent partner for crackers or veggies.

You can find this recipe and three other yummy-sounding cheese spreads in "Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe" on page 224.

Mollie Katzen says, "Try this on sourdough or pumpernickel toast with tomatoes or minced red bell pepper. It's also good on herb bread, topped with dates or golden raisins. Or use it to fill a hollowed out cucumber for a delicious commuter breakfast."

Creamy Feta with Ground Walnuts
"Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe"
(Yields 4-6 Servings)
Prep Time: 10 Minutes or Less

1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
a handful of parsley
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1/2 cup milk, cream or homemade Crème Fraîche
1 tsp mild paprika

Combine the walnuts and parsley in a food processor or blender. Buzz until nuts are finely ground and the parsley is finely minced. Add the cheese, garlic, milk, and paprika, and purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add cayenne to taste.

Serve at room temperature or cold. Spread keeps for a week or longer if stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Notes/Results: Fresh and flavorful. I did make two small changes to the spread recipe--I used almond milk--I don't keep a lot of regular dairy milk around, and I added the juice from half a lemon for a little more zip. For the tartine I used toasted marble rye pan bread with a layer of the feta-walnut spread and topped it with local baby arugula, cooked shrimp and local baby tomatoes. The combination of the toasted bread with the cheesy, nutty spread, the peppery arugula and the sweet shrimp and tomatoes is excellent. A lovely and light lunch option.
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