TARTINE: a vintage appetizer to cheer up.


Spring is around the corner!  The warmer weather, the world in bloom, and the streets full of kids riding their bikes and decorating the sidewalks with chalk again makes me so happy!  It also gives me the desire to celebrate life, and, in general, to celebrate with friends again!!!

And celebrating brings to mind the way my family used to arrange buffets for any family or work event (birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries, graduations, promotions etc.).  The main menu usually consisted of TARTINE: a colorful finger food, easy to make, not too expensive and – most importantly – that everybody likes!

What I realized while writing this post is that TARTINES are something that have been forgotten by Italians in the last 15 years; this is why I like to think them as a VINTAGE snack- one which should be reintroduced in the Italian modern habits, and worthwhile to be known abroad also.

Although I usually try to be very precise with quantities, I can not be this time, because each person can “decorate” their TARTINE (sliced bread) as they prefer.

INGREDIENTS for 20-25 tartines

FOR THE BASE: 10-12 slices of bread

FOR THE CREAM: – tuna in olive oil (1 big can, or two small), 1 stick of butter and 5 or 6 capers (for the tuna cream)

                                     – ham (I prefer the smoked one) and 1 block of cream cheese (for the ham sauce)


                                    – any kind of deli meat (prosciutto, bologna, sopressata, salami, capocollo, honey or forest ham)

                                    – boiled egg

                                    – black or green olives (or both)

                                    – any kind of pickled veggies (i.e. roasted peppers, cocktail onions, artichoke hearts)

FOR THE DECORATION: Mayonnaise (and a decorator)


Cut the sandwich slices in two and remove the crust.

In the food processor mix the tuna, butter, and capers (or ham and Cream cheese) until you obtain a smooth and creamy mixture.

Spread the cream on on the sandwich slices.


Arrange on the bread the different slices of deli (in a nice way), a slice of boiled egg, a pickled vegetable (until the slice has no more free room), and at the end create small decoration (flakes or stripes) with Mayonnaise.

All done!!!  Your appetizer will look colorful, fancy, attractive, easily eaten just using fingers, and absolutely D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!



– In Italy to make TARTINE we have a special bread called “pan Carre’ ” which is kind of “damp” and it makes TARTINE softer for palate. To obtain the same result with American sandwich slices, I put under the bread (already smeared with the cream) a wet cloth just to keep the bread moist until the moment it is served.

– If you have “cream leftovers” don’t be worried, it lasts forever in the refrigerator and can be used in many different ways (possibly you can make TARTINE for your kids’ snack, or just spread it on your regular sandwiches to make them extra tasty).

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, and support my blog!

Much thanks,



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