This baguette recipe is a close attempt to the magnificent one served at a café in the village of Giverny where you’ll find Monet’s garden. It makes for a substantial and decadent lunch, or relaxed dinner with close friends. It’s best served with cider, but also pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
1 large French baguette, with the crispy-crunchy outer, sliced in half both-ways to create 4 long open slices
1 large brown onion
225g/8oz lardons, (thick cut bacon cut into batons will work)
1 wheel Camembert cheese
125g/4oz button/small mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
Heat a heavy-based frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot. Pour the oil into the bottom of the pan, and as soon as it’s hot, toast the open face of the baguette in the hot pan until the baguette gets a nice golden-brown tinge.
Once golden, remove the baguette from the pan, cut in half and rub the garlic over the exposed hot surface. Don’t waste the garlic, after you’ve rubbed all the baguette slices, mince the garlic and reserve to cook with the onions. Keep the baguettes warm, but not heated, wrapped in a tea towel usually does the job.
Keep the pan on a medium heat, and add the lardons, and cook until any fat on the bacon dissolves. Remove the meaty pieces and keep warm.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan, and cook until the onions are slightly caramelised. Remove from the pan and keep warm, add the mushrooms and the butter, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mushrooms also become golden.
Slice the Camembert lengthways, and prepare to assemble your open sandwiches:
On top of each open face of baguette, evenly distribute the onions and garlic, mushrooms, and lardons, top with the sliced cheese. If possible, place in a warmed oven, or large saute-pan with lid, or under a weak grill to gently melt the cheese over the toppings.
Serve with a side salad of frizzy lettuce, a light French dressing, and a crisp glass of cider and you could almost be in Monet’s garden.
Kit Smyth is a retired chef with a passion for French cuisine. Originally from Australia, Kit is dedicated to exploring both old and new ingredients, techniques and styles, and developing recipes for home cooks, she also teaches these recipes online and in-person. Find out more at her website: TheBiteLine
More on Monet
Where Monet bought his lilies – the shop is still there and going strong!
Monet’s garden – like stepping into one of his paintings