I love Ottolenghi’s food. If I am not cooking Indian, the style of his vegetarian dishes is compatible with my style. For a few holidays, I stayed just down the road from his Islington cafe/restaurant, and oh boy the food was good.
Recently I was driven to make his Surprise Tatin, which is an upside down potato tart. I have to admit that it is both tasty and visually amazing.
In my Tatin, I used the potatoes as suggested in the recipe, with some carrots as well. The carrots were very nice and could well comprise a whole tatin, but the potatoes were superior.
Notes on The Recipe
Don’t let the sugar caramel concern you – if you caramelise it enough so that it is dark but not toffee, the sweetness will disappear leaving unctuous flavours.
You can use small potatoes for this, but big potatoes turn out well too.
The tatin can be pre-prepared 24 hours ahead of time – a great bonus when having people over for a meal, or preparing it in the morning to bake in the evening.
Source: Ottolenghi’s Plenty
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins for the tomatoes, 40 mins for the tatin
Serves: 5-6 depending how you use it
200g cherry tomatoes
2 Tblspn Olive oil plus extra for drizzling over the tomatoes and for the baking tin
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
3 sprigs fresh oregano, picked
150g (hard) goats’ cheese, sliced
1 puff pastry sheet, rolled thinly
Heat the oven to 130C. Halve the tomatoes and place them skin-side down on a baking-sheet. Drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to dry for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the unpeeled potatoes in boiling salted water for 25 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim a bit off the top and bottom of each potato, then cut into 2cm (¾in) thick discs.
Sauté the onion with the oil and some salt for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Once you’ve prepared all the vegetables, brush a 22cm cake tin with oil and line the bottom with a circle of baking-parchment.
In a small pan cook the sugar and butter on a high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, to get a semi-dark caramel. Pour the caramel carefully into the cake tin and tilt it to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom.
Pick the oregano leaves, tear and scatter on the caramel. Lay the potato slices close together, cut-side down, on the bottom of the tin. Gently press the onion and tomatoes into the gaps and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread the slices of goat’s cheese evenly over the potatoes.
Cut a puff-pastry disc that is 3cm (1in) larger in diameter than the tin. Lay the pastry lid over the tart filling and gently tuck the edges down around the potatoes inside the tin.
(At this stage you can chill the tart for up to 24 hours.)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the tart for 25 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is thoroughly cooked.
Remove from the oven and let settle for two minutes only. Hold an inverted plate firmly on top of the tin and carefully but briskly turn them over together, then lift off the tin. Serve the tart hot or warm.
From The Potatoes Series
- Aloo do Payaja: Peasant Onions with Potatoes
- Aloo Gobi – Indian Cauliflower and Potato Curry
- Arai Puli Kuzhambu (Mildly Sour “Soup”): A Wet and Tangy Vegetable Curry with Eggplant and Potato
- Aloo Palak – Potatoes in Spinach Gravy
- Aloo Baingan Wadi Ki Subzi (Tomato, Eggplant and Potato Subzi with Wadi)
- BBQ Baked Potatoes
- Chana Chat with Chat Masala
- Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise
- Doodh Wale Aloo (Milkman Potatoes)
- Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes (Gratin of Potatoes and Courgettes)
- Light Summery Tomato Soup
- Potage Crème de Tomates et de Pommes de Terre (Cream of Tomato and Potato Soup)
- A Vindaloo of Sorts: spicy potato and sweet potato