One of my favorite French things to eat are Tartines. The Free Dictionary defines a tartine as a “French open-faced sandwich, especially one with a rich or fancy spread”. I would say that these fit the definition. Little toasts of French bread piled high with a melange of chopped wild mushrooms, bacon, and caramelized onions, topped with parsley and tarragon. On weekends, I like to make a bowlful of this topping to throw into my frittata or scrambled eggs, or on a baguette spread with hunks of creamy goat cheese. Somehow, though, I think it’s best on tartines; eating it this way more elegant. Biting into the toasts without having them end up in your lap requires care, thus forcing you to savor every delicious bite–which is a good thing.
I start with a pound or so of mixed organic mushrooms like crimini, chanterelle, with some button mushrooms thrown in for extra variety. After cleaning them with a damp cloth, I chop them up and throw them in a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon each of olive oil and garlic butter. Then I add a finely diced yellow onion and about three strips of bacon, chopped into lardons (thin rectangles). Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook on medium high heat until the mixture is cooked and browned, the bacon bits crisp.
Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to cook the mushrooms in a couple of batches. Here’s why: it’s very important not to crowd the pan when you are cooking mushrooms, or they will steam instead of brown. It took my years of cooking to figure this out. Hopefully I have spared you the same heartache.
Pile spoonfuls of mushrooms on the baguette slices and arrange on a plate. Garnish with extra parsley and tarragon, if desired. You may also spread a bit of goat cheese on cooled tartines before adding the mushrooms.