Fresh Start

A sandwich for the New Year
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Julianne Jones is putting bread back into the daily diet of her Vermont patrons at Vergennes Laundry. "I looked around and saw that a lot of people don't have a huge appreciation for good bread," Jones says. And one of Jones's favorite ways to showcase her pain au levain is to spread it with crème fraîche and top the slices with roasted parsnips, crisp pears and blue cheese. Rather than finishing the snack with another slice of bread, she serves the sandwich open-face, like a French tartine. She broils the tartines before serving, which allows the cheese to meld deliciously with the other ingredients.

Pear-Parsnip Tartine

Recipe adapted from Julianne Jones, Vergennes Laundry, Vergennes, VT

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time: 30 minutes


6 medium parsnips, thinly sliced vertically

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four 1-inch slices pain au levain or another rustic loaf of bread

4 tablespoons crème fraîche

2 Bosc pears, core removed and flesh thinly sliced vertically

Fourme d'Ambert or another strong blue cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, toss the parsnip slices with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet and roast until just golden, about 25 minutes.

2. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread on another baking sheet. Spread a tablespoon of crème fraîche on each piece of bread and arrange the pears evenly over the four pieces of bread. Top with the roasted parsnips and the Fourme d'Ambert. Season with salt and pepper, place under the broiler and cook until the cheese begins to bubble, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

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