I was inspired to make salmon tartines after watching, “The Last Word,” a movie starring Shirley MacLaine as Harriet Lauler, a retired businesswoman and control freak. Harriet wants to make sure she’s remembered fondly after her death, so she hires a journalist to pen her obituary while she is still living. The only problem is that nobody seems to like Harriet, so she decides to do some good deeds in order to have a glowing obituary.
The tartines are mentioned briefly and never actually make an appearance, but they reflect Harriet’s sophisticated manner. When her two young friends reject the tartines in favor of fast food, Harriet reluctantly eats some french fries. This gesture is symbolic of her willingness to change her ways late in life.
“The Last Word” is funny, heartwarming and thought provoking.
I did a google search for a salmon tartine recipe, and found many variations, so I combined some online inspiration from Ina Garten with suggestions from my husband Ross, and I tossed in some of my own ideas. Here’s what I came up with:
1 loaf high quality white bread
8 oz pkg. cream cheese
1 baked fillet of salmon
1 pkg. fresh dill
4 persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
3-4 lemons, cut into wedges (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake salmon for about 10 to 14 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut crusts off the bread, cut remaining bread into rectangles and toast lightly. Spread each piece of bread with a thin layer of cream cheese, then top with cucumber, salmon and a sprig of dill. Arrange on a platter and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.