About Great Food

Gary Rhodes

Green Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tarte tatin is a French classic made with apples. The apples are caramelized in butter and sugar and topped with pastry while still in the frying pan. This is baked and then turned over onto a plate to serve. It looks stunning and the flavor is immense. Yes, you've guessed it, that's more or less what I'm going to do, but on a savory note with green tomatoes. You will need an ovenproof 8 inch frying pan. Serve with a simple, tossed salad.

Serves 2 (or 1 if you're very hungry)

6 green tomatoes
Olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
4-6 oz frozen puff pastry, thawed
Salt and pepper

For the Dressing or Garnish: (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 teaspoons sour cream
A squeeze of lemon or lime juice
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
small red onion, finely sliced
Fresh Parmesan shavings
Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450F. Heat the ovenproof frying pan with a trickle of olive oil. Halve the tomatoes through the middle. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and place them flesh-side-down, in a circular pattern, totally filling the pan. Increase the heat so the tomatoes are frying and not stewing. After 1 minute, add the tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Continue to fry for another minute or two, shaking the pan occasionally so that they are evenly coated with butter. The tomatoes will have started to caramelize. Remove the pan from the stove and leave to cool.

Roll out the pastry into a 8 inch circle. Put the pastry on top of the tomatoes, pressing lightly to help it take on the shape of the tomato border. Bake the tart for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Turn the tart out onto a plate (remember, the handle will be hot!). You will have rich, golden caramelized tomatoes looking right at you. For an even richer, caramelized look, brush with more butter and sprinkle with a touch more sugar. Pop under the broiler until it begins to bubble. Cut into two portions.

For the dressing, mix the oil with the vinegar and season. Season the soured cream separately and add the lemon or lime juice. Spoon threads of the sour cream across the plates and repeat with the balsamic dressing.

Sit the tart portions on top or by the side of the dressings and sprinkle with the torn basil leaves, red onion slices and Parmesan shavings. The tart can be finished with a small sprinkling of coarse sea salt and black pepper.


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