Easy Tarte Flambe Recipe

tarte flambe

Whenever we go out to dine, we inevitably think about home cooking. Not that we wouldn’t enjoy a nice night out on the town and enjoy the pleasures of dining with friends or the experience of exploring new flavors just purely for the sake of it, but we can’t help it but to always think how we can re-create a dish or use these flavors back in our own small kitchen.  We just enjoy cooking that much. When we taste a great dish, a typical conversation might go like this: “wow, this is really good!”  Followed by “we can definitely do this at home!”  And quickly followed by, “and for so much cheaper!” Or “yeah, fish sauce would be great with this!”  Of course we have the utmost respect for Chefs and their creations and don’t say these things to belittle what they do.  But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then inspiration is right behind it as we are often inspired by dishes we eat.

Here we have two versions of an easy tarte flambe, which is a French Alsatian dish that is flamed baked (hence the name) resembling a thin pizza. The traditional tarte flambe consists of sliced raw onions, creme fraiche, and lardons.  In Los Angeles, the most famous tarte flambe was created by Walter Mantzke, formerly of Church & State. After tasting his tartes at his restaurant and at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival, we were inspired to create our own easy tarte flambe using ingrediants from the traditional tarte as well as a smoked salmon version.

tarte flambe

This is not so much a recipe, but more like step wise instructions on how to create your tarte using our favorite flat bread, lavash bread. Use as much or as little of the garnishments as desired. Lavash, as we have posted before is a flat Middle Eastern bread, much thinner than a pita.  You can find them in Middle Eastern markets or even on Amazon.

Tarte Flambe with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Gruyere
Printable Recipe

  • lavash bread
  • thick cut bacon or lardons, diced (fried to nice crisp, drained)
  • gruyere cheese  (thinly grated–we didn’t have a grater handy when making this recipe)
  • caramelized onions (see this post on a easy way to caramelize onions
  • olive oil 
  • fresh cracked pepper or thinly chopped chives/parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your lavash bread into rectangles of desired size and score in quarters for easier cutting if desired.  Brush light coating of olive oil and place on baking tray. Pre bake the lavash until crispy but not yet browned for about 4-5 minutes.

tarte flambe

Remove and spread the caramelized onions, gruyere, and bacon liberally. Return to oven and bake until lavash is golden brown, another 4-5 minutes or so. Allow to cool slightly and add freshed cracked pepper. Slice with pizza slicer and serve. 

Tarte Flambe with Smoked Salmon, dill, capers, creme fraiche  
  • lavash bread
  • pre sliced smoked salmon/lox
  • dill, coarsely chopped
  • capers (you can also fry them to a crispy flower if desired)
  • creme fraiche (substitute with Mexican Crema for more affordable option)

Repeat the same technique as above except layer on the smoked salmon and capers and return to the oven. Add the dill and drizzle creme fraiche/Mexican crema after final baking.  This version is fantastic for Sunday brunches with a crisp glass of white wine or champagne.

tarte flambe
The beauty of these easy lavash bread tarte flambes is that you bake a large sheet ahead of time and it will stay crispy. When guests arrive toss on the toppings and heat in the oven until edges are brown and in minutes you’ll have an appetizer that your guests will think you’ve spent hours on.  Feel free to experiment with your own personal favorite garnishments. 
We’ve served these to friends who have tried the original tarte flambe at Church & State and while it wasn’t a blind taste test, the reviews were a big thumbs up.  Thanks, Chef Mantzke for the inspiration!  Needless to say, in these economic times, it’s nice to know you can create gourmet dishes for mere dollars when you don’t have time or money to try the original.  Try this easy tarte flambe recipe out and we’re sure this will be an easy go to appetizer for any occasion!

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