Assembly Required

Humpty dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpty had a great fall…

I would let you fill in the rest but considering what Andrew Dice Clay did to the old nursery rhyme I better explain. I’ve badly injured my back. And by badly I’m not exaggerating. I’m virtually immobile: somedays I can walk and others… not so much. Never the less, I’m trying ever so slowly to pick up the pieces and get back to bringing you all the fancy food and food you fancy. Bare with me.

Despite the fact that the lower half of the kitchen is out of my reach, I was desperate to get back in the kitchen. And today began my comeback therapy:

The Blackberry Salmon Sandwich

This is how I think the French responded to the American slider: An open face sandwich of sorts, this tartine is an ode to a salad, a sandwich, and a starter all in one delicious and decadent bite…

…or bites.

Smoked Salmon and sweet blackberries with a subtle hint of rich vinegar make for a luscious pairing. I bought some fresh sourdough bread from Le Pain Quotidien bakery just around the corner and with a little butter, avocado, and lightly dressed pea shoots I had quite an elegant lunch.

This is the kind of mid afternoon summer lunch that calls for a perfectly chilled glass of Blanc de blanc, but since painkillers aren’t an ideal wine pairing, I’ve opted for mint lemonade.

Balsamic Blackberry Reduction
makes about 6 oz

1 pint blackberries + handful
1/3 cup aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
scant pinch of salt, scant pinch cracked black pepper
Optional: sprinkle of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or xanthum gum to thicken consistancy

*recipe bellow

Blackberry Salmon Tartine
Serves 1

4 pieces wild alaskan smoked salmon

1-2 oz Balsamic Blackberry Sauce
1 large thin slice (1/4 inch) fresh whole wheat sourdough bread

1/2 hass avocado
2 tablespoons picked dill leaves
1 tablespoon sliced spring onion (scallions) mostly green parts
1/2 fuji or green apple, diced
1/2 lemon

Handful Pea Shoots (or micro greens)
sweet european style butter
olive oil

Blackberry Sauce
1. Puree the fresh blackberries in a blender, and strain to remove the seeds. Place balsamic vinegar, sugar, and the blackberry juice in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, and pepper and reduce the heat, simmering slowly until reduced by 1/3 (about 15-20 minutes). Thicken as necessary
2. Let cool completely and use or store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Le Tartine
3. To assemble the sandwich: in a small bowl, mix 1/2 of the avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, spring onion and dill. Spread one rectangular slice of bread with butter and cover with the avocado spread. Top with pieces of smoked salmon. Lightly coat the pea shoots in olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and place a mound on top of the sandwich. Top with diced apple, and a handful of fresh blackberries and a generous amount of blackberry reduction. Slice and serve.

A little focus on presentation goes a long way. Simple ingredients need to be showcased so think about textures, colors, and heights when putting together a plate. After all, we always eat with our eyes first.

Et voila! A plate fit for any lady who lunches…

Darcy Jones


  1. July 20, 2011 / 2:47 am

    Darcy – hope you are feeling better. I had to see a chiropractor this week for the first time EVER. No fun! Am amazed that this looks so delicious, as hard cooking with a bad back. Beautiful photographs.

  2. July 20, 2011 / 7:32 pm

    Ouch! So sorry to hear about your back. We've had several back incidents in our house, and I can tell you no one attempting to cook (much less blog!). You're a trooper.

    This looks gorgeous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *