Spring Vegetable Tartine

Tartine, or French open-faced sandwiches, are some of the most beautiful bites around.  I often make traditional tea sandwiches with fillings like veggie cream cheese in between 2 slices of soft bread, but after a trip to the market this weekend I was inspired to show off some of this season’s freshest bounty with these Spring Vegetable Tartine.

While piling bunches of bright hot pink radishes into my cart, some very beautiful little quail eggs caught my eye.  I never tried quail eggs before, so I was intrigued.  I wondered if their speckled coloring might mean that they were strange or unpleasant tasting.  Sure enough, after some experimentation at home both frying one egg sunny side up and boiling another, I realized that quail eggs taste the same as regular eggs do, perhaps even milder. They are basically the cuter, miniaturized version of regular eggs!

Quail eggs are beautifully and naturally blemished.  Their rustic appeal makes them look almost ornamental, perfect for making spring decorations and centerpieces.  They make me think of pastel colored birds, twiggy nests, and sweet ambient chirping…all of the lovely indications that spring has sprung!

If you are wanting to make egg salad or scrambled eggs, don’t waste your extra pennies on quail eggs.  You want to use these when you are trying to showcase the egg’s delicate flavor and petit size.

I hard-boiled and halved my quail eggs so that I could use them as the main embellishment for my tartine.  Just a bit of simple protein to balance out all the fresh, clean veggie flavors in the sandwiches.  Sprinkle the cut egg with a bit of bright red cayenne pepper or smoked paprika for an extra pop of color and flavor.

These tartine are ideal for Easter Sunday Brunch or a spring-themed afternoon tea. Although they are delicious served without bacon for vegetarians, a light scattering of the savory bits helps to balance out the sweet ricotta and carrots.  Crunchy, creamy, salty, and sweet, these sandwiches allow the best of springtime ingredients to shine.

Tartine can be eaten with your hands like you would a topped cracker, or with a fork and knife.  If your guests prefer the latter, serve them with some Springtime Carrot Cutlery, which make a simple and colorful addition to an Easter-themed table.  Either way, I’m sure your guests will find these lovely open-faced sandwiches irresistible!

Spring Vegetable Tartine

Makes about 12- 5″ tartine.


1- 15 oz container of part-skim ricotta

6 Tbsp grated carrots, blotted with paper towel to remove excess moisture

6 Tbsp finely chopped celery, blotted with paper towel to remove excess moisture

2 green onions finely sliced

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp hot sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 loaf french bread, sliced 1/2″ thick

6 quail eggs

5-6 radishes, very thinly sliced

1 green onion sliced thinly, for garnishing

crumbled bacon bits, for garnishing (about 5 slices, cooked until crisp)

cayenne pepper or smoked paprika


small pot

slotted spoon

small bowl

mixing bowl



1.)  Hard boil the quail eggs.  Place them in a small pot with water to cover by 1″.  Bring the water to full rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute.  Turn off heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the warm water.  Place them into a small bowl filled with cold water and set aside to allow eggs to cool completely.

2.)  Mix together ricotta, carrots, celery, green onions, lemon juice, olive oil, hot sauce, sugar, black pepper, and salt.

3.)  Peel the cooled eggs.  This is easier when done under water.  Cut the eggs in half using a sharp knife.

4.)  Toast the bread slices, then top each slice with about 2 Tbsp of the veggie ricotta mixture.  Place thinly sliced radishes, sliced green onion, and bacon bits atop the ricotta tartine.  Top each tartine off with a hard-boiled egg half, then sprinkle it with a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to finish.  Happy Spring!  Enjoy!

Springtime Carrot Cutlery

It was during the Royal Wedding a few years ago that I found about Party Pieces.  For those of you who don’t know, Party Pieces is a party supply company in the UK, similar to Party City here in the US, except a bit fancier.  What’s more surprising is that it’s owned by Kate Middleton’s parents.

Today’s quick and easy Springtime Carrot Cutlery post is inspired by a glimpse of a photo that I caught on the Party Pieces site.  Nothing too fancy, just a fun little idea for celebrating your upcoming Easter brunch or afternoon tea!

One of the reasons I love afternoon tea is because it isn’t just about the food– it’s about the presentation and feeling of a meal that you are about to share with others.  These cutlery carrots are bright and festive, and help to set the stage for a fresh and bountiful springtime meal.

These utensil sets are very easy to make, and made even more special if you present them in the spirit of springtime harvesting.  You might want to set them atop some multi-colored beans or split peas or even stick them into the beans vertically so that your guests can pluck them out of a garden planter as they start down the Easter buffet.

For a personal place setting, you can also sink the tip of each carrot into a small terra-cotta clay planting pot.  Use your index finger to guide the tip of the carrot into the dried beans.  This will help to firmly plant the cutlery so that it stands upright securely.

Serve up your most delicious Easter meal with these Springtime Carrot Cutlery.  They are sure to make any Easter brunch table that much more cheerful and welcoming!

Springtime Carrot Cutlery

What You’ll Need:

large orange napkins

green plastic spoons, forks, and knives

jute twine or decorative ribbon, cut into 12″ pieces



1.)  Stack a full set of cutlery with the fork at the top, then the spoon, and finally the knife on the bottom.  Place the stack parallel to the horizontal center line of the napkin, about 1″ below the horizontal center line.  The open side of the napkin should face left.

2.)  Tuck the bottom tip of the napkin over the cutlery stack.

3.)  Roll the stack over (upwards) along with the napkin, making sure the tip of the carrot (the right side of the napkin) rolls up tight and snug.  Roll the left side of the napkin (with the cutlery showing) looser than the right side.

4.)  Continue rolling the napkin up, flipping the cutlery over as needed as you continue to roll.

5.)  Finish rolling until you get a carrot shape with the top tip of the napkin tucked under.

6.)  Rearrange the cutlery to face the front of the carrot as needed.

7.)  Using jute twine, tie a bow snugly against the napkin to hold the carrot cutlery together…done!