Tartine With Goat Cheese, Almonds, Pancetta And Honey

Serves 2. Recipe is from “The Bonne Femme Cookbook” by Wini Moranville (The Harvard Common Press) and used with permission. Moranville says, “In this recipe, the bonne femme would use lardons — succulent cubes of bacon that make their way into many French dishes. However, because lardons are difficult to find here, I’ve substituted crumbled pancetta, the spiced Italian bacon, which most supermarkets stock. Pancetta’s flavor works just as lardons would — its saltiness beautifully contrasts with the tang of the goat cheese, the sweetness of the honey, and the nuttiness of the almonds. This goes best with a salad of tender greens to contrast the richness.”

2 ozs. thin-sliced pancetta

4 ozs. soft-ripened goat cheese, crumbled or diced

2 tbls. sliced almonds

2 (3/4-inch-thick) slices from a crusty country-style round bread (preferably medium- size slices from near the center of the loaf), toasted

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsps. honey

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Place the pancetta in a skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once, until barely crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to cool slightly.

3. Crumble the pancetta into a bowl. Add the goat cheese and almonds and stir to combine. Set aside.

4. Brush one side of each toasted bread slice with olive oil. Arrange the bread slices, oiled sides up, on a baking sheet. Pile the goat cheese and pancetta mixture atop the toasted bread, making sure to cover the entire bread surface, including the crusts, so the bread does not burn.

5. Broil the sandwiches 3 to 4 inches from the heat until the cheese is melted and lightly browned in places, about 3 minutes (watching constantly). Transfer the sandwiches to individual plates, drizzle with honey and serve.