Tartines - open sandwiches are absolutely adored by the French. Because they are simple, you need good bread, preferably sourdough, and the best, ripest blue cheese you can find. Serve it with the watercress tossed in vinaigrette made with walnut or hazelnut oil, and some toasted nuts.


  • 2 Slices sourdough bread
  • About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150 g Cashel or crozier blue cheese, rind discarded
  • Knob of butter
  • 3 Fresh ripe figs, cut in half
  • 3 tblsp Sherry vinegar
  • 3 tblsp Runny honey
  • Watercress salad, to serve (see intro)
  • 50 g Toasted nuts, hazel or walnuts are best


  • Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Toast the slices of sourdough and then drizzle with the olive oil.
  • Put the cheese on top and half-spread it just to flatten it down a bit. Put one slice on to each serving plate.
  • Heat the butter in a small frying pan and cook the figs on both sides until they have a little colour – it will only take about 25 seconds on each side.
  • Add the sherry vinegar – it will spurt so be careful and then drizzle in the honey. Stir the juices around and turn over the figs.
  • Spoon the figs on to the blue cheese and drizzle the juices over the top. Add a small mound of the watercress salad to serve.