Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

At San Francisco's famed Tartine Bakery, croque-monsieur is one of the most popular menu items. Croque-montagnarde, another crowd-pleaser, is a richer, more robust version, thanks to potatoes laced with olive oil. Recipe and image reprinted with permission from "Tartine Bread," by Chad Robertson, with photographs by Eric Wolfinger.



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk, warmed

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 12 small fingerling potatoes (or 4 to 5 ounces other small waxy potatoes), cooked until tender, smashed

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 slices (¾ inch thick) day-old Tartine Bakery's Country Bread

  • 4 thick slices smoked ham

  • 8 slices Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)


  1. Make the bechamel:

    Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and whisk until mixture bubbles slightly, but has not started to brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

  2. Make the croque-montagnarde:

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil. Spread 1/4 cup bechamel onto each slice of bread, and top with 1 slice of ham, some potatoes, and 2 slices of cheese. Bake on a baking sheet until cheese is golden and bubbling, 12 to 14 minutes (start checking often after 8 minutes, and rotate sheet as needed for even browning).

Cook's Notes

Bechamel can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Reheat before using.

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