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A vegetarian bite as near to heaven as you could get
"Upside down you´re turning me" hit the number 1 spot for Diana Ross in 1980. Messing around with a classic is something close to my heart and coming up with a twist that is new and fresh has to be applauded. On Saturday I had to cater for one vegetarian in a party of eight for a privately catered dinner in a villa rental. Ottolenghi to the rescue again, bless him. He so cleverly re-invented the classic Tarte Tatin as a savoury vegetarian dish. It is such a delicious  recipe that I have now adopted it into the Casa Rosada repertoire. He named his creation Surprise Tatin because of the yummy goats cheese hidden beneath the vegetables. The principle is so simple, it not only follows the concept of baking a tart upside down and then inverting it when it is cooked, but it turns the whole idea of tarte tatin as a French dessert upside down. Line a loose bottomed cake tin or pie dish with the caramel, substitute potatoes for the apples and after a little embellishment of roasted cherry tomatoes,soft caramelised onions and fresh oregano and before you can say eh- sarkhozy you have a mouth watering very easy and impressive vegetable tarte tatin. I pinched this 4 years ago from his column in the Guardian

Yotam Ottolenghi´s "Surprise Tatin"

500g small potatoes; charlotte/new
150g cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
40g sugar
10g butter
1 spring fresh oregano
150g goats cheese
1 puff pastry sheet

Preheat the oven to 130C then halve the tomatoes, put on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, season and dry out in the oven for 45 minutes.
Chop off a bit off the top and bottom of each unskinned potato, and cut into two to three discs around 2cm thick, then boil until cooked (approx 10 minutes)
Sauté the onion in olive oil and a little salt for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Brush a 22cm cake tin with oil and line the base with baking parchment.
In a small pan cook the sugar and butter on a high flame, stirring with a wooden spoon, until you get a semi-dark caramel. Pour carefully into the cake tin and spread out over the bottom. Scatter oregano on top.
Stand the potatoes close together in the bottom of the tin. Press onions and tomatoes into the gaps, season well and cover with goats’ cheese.
Cut a puff pastry disc 3cm larger in diameter than the tin. Place over the cheese and gently tuck the excess around the potatoes. At this stage, you can chill the tart for up to 24 hours*.
Bake in a preheated oven 200C  for 25 minutes, then at 180C for another 15 minutes. Place a reversed plate on top of the tin and carefully but briskly turn out.

*De-briefing: the tart works much better, holds up better, and tastes better if chilled for 24 hours and is then served at room temperature

Yotam if you are there - " Respectively I see to thee.... you´re giving love instinctively"


  1. I cooking for a friend's picnic in Regents Park, London, this weekend . . . I think this might have won me over!


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