Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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

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.

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
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.


  1. Fellow almond milk lovers unite!

    I actually have a container of feta cheese in my fridge begging to be used. Talk about perfect timing!

  2. What a lovely little lunch...sounds delicious!

  3. I love the Sunlight Cafe book. Lots of fun ideas like this one. I'm still craving shrimp so these tartine are right up my alley right now. I bet the sharpness of the feta is terrific with the shrimp.

  4. It's a beautiful lunch, the spread is something I will try for sure. None of us drink milk and I don't usually have it on hand either. Lately we have been using SO Delicious coconut milk, it works well in many recipes. I do like the almond milk.

    I have a couple of Mollie Katzen's books, she is all about flavor!

  5. Kat--mahalo!

    Joanne--this is a great use for it!

    girlichef--it was pretty delicious!

    Kim--feta and shrimp is always a great pairing and the toasted walnuts add a lot (& lots of essential fatty acids!) ;-)

    Lyndsey--I have being using a ton of the So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk too and love it. I like to switch out my milks but the coconut milk would work great too. Mollie Katzen is a flavor goddess!

  6. Love this spread! Something like this can really make a sandwich (or a tartine)! I also love the spiciness of arugula. Can't wait for it to come into season here!

  7. Your tartine looks incredibly good Deb! There are so many flavors going on but the spread sounds like the star of the show - and like something I would love!


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