Man cannot live on bread alone, so they say, but we think man could live quite happily on bread from Poilâne. This Parisian bakery – with a London outpost on Elizabeth Street – creates some extraordinary bread, but that is hardly surprising from the place Salvador Dali turned to in 1971 to make him a bedroom out of bread. Apollonia Poilâne, who has taken over the family business from her father and grandfather, has given Hg2 some scrummy summer sandwich recipes to salivate over. Although the weather might not be convincing us that the season of picnics and Pimm’s is upon us, these just might.
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For a quick summery sandwich, her first recommendation would be a simple open-faced sandwich using a slice of Poilâne’s walnut bread topped with soft goat’s cheese and slices of dried or fresh fig.
Poached egg, pepper and pea sandwich
This classic open sandwich is very light and fresh – ideal for a hot summery day.
1 slice of Poilâne sourdough loaf
A handful garden peas, cooked
A handful fava beans, cooked
Pepper and salt (preferably coarse sea salt)
Crush the peas and fava beans together to create a rough puree, adding a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of pepper and salt. Spread the puree on a slice of Poilâne’s sourdough loaf and top with a poached egg. Season to taste.
Steak Tartare Sandwich
This classic French recipe for steak tartare is very simple to make and looks so impressive on the plate.
For the steak tartare
150g beef fillet, finely chopped
½ teaspoon shallots, finely chopped
A drop of Tabasco sauce
A drop of Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon mustard, preferably Dijion
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon nonpareille capers
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 egg yolk
Pepper and salt
For the rest of the sandwich
½ of a red pepper, chopped
¼ of a cucumber, finely sliced
2 slices of Poilâne sourdough bread
For the tartare – mix together all the ingredients except the egg with a pinch of black pepper and sea salt.
In a bowl, mix a quarter of the egg yolk, onions, capers, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and beat the mixture lightly for a few seconds. Add the meat and parsley and incorporate into the mixture.
Gently toast the slices of bread until they are a golden brown. Spread the tartare onto one of the slices of sourdough bread and layer with slices of cucumber and red pepper and top with another slice of bread.