Cherry tomato and smoked salmon tartine
For toast assembly:
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sliced sourdough bread
Fresh marjoram, or fresh oregano in a pinch
Splash red wine vinegar
Flakey salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 egg yolk, preferably from eggs laid by a chicken raised on pasture
¾ cup olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
Generous pinch salt
1 large garlic clove
2 tsp lemon juice
For the aioli:
These directions might feel redundant for all of our devout Fishwife Cookbook fanatics, as we have in fact already journeyed into the art of making mayonnaise together. However! Mayonnaise makes a rather significant transformation with the simple addition of a clove of garlic. Enough so that it’s worth trekking down this road again.
Start by microplaning a clove of garlic into a small bowl. Cover with the lemon juice and set aside to macerate for at least 5 minutes.
Add your egg yolk, mustard, and a pinch of salt to your heaviest bowl (a heavy bowl is essential as it’s what will allow you to be autonomous in the whisking process; a flimsy bowl will spin uncontrollably and make emulsification rather difficult). Whisk to combine. Now, drop by tiny drop add your olive oil, stirring all the while with your free hand. I’ve found that the best way to do this successfully is to use a bottle with a pour spout to gradually add the oil. Make sure you’re not using a bottle that is too large for you to comfortably handle. I use a 375 ml bottle.
As you continue slowly adding oil, you’ll notice that the mixture will become gradually paler and thicker. Once this initial stage of emulsification has been tackled, you can start adding the olive oil in a gentle stream - still stirring all the while! Keep adding oil until your mayonnaise is too thick to continue whisking with ease. You will be impressed by how much oil one single egg yolk can hold. The recipe calls for ¾ cup of olive oil, but you may need to use less or more depending on the size of your egg yolk.
Add the lemon macerated garlic to this thick emulsion, and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
For toast assembly:
In a medium bowl, combine halved cherry tomatoes with a generous pinch of flakey salt, an even more generous grinding of black pepper, a glug of olive oil, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss to combine and taste a tomato. The objective here is to season the tomatoes in a way that allows them to taste more like themselves; adding just enough salt, spice and acid to really make their flavor pop. When properly seasoned, set aside while you prepare the other players.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle a thick cut piece of sourdough in olive oil on both sides, and fry in the preheated skillet till golden brown on each side. Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, otherwise the aioli will melt upon contact.
To assemble, generously shmear the fried bread with a thick layer of aioli. Arrange the macerated tomatoes on top and nestle in a few pieces of smoked salmon. Finish with fresh marjoram and another grind of pepper.