Potato, Fennel, Feta, Olive and Lemon Tart

2:43 am on 10 November 2008

I keep several blocks of puff pastry in my freezer so I can whip up a substantial lunch dish or a great starter for friends who pop in unexpectedly. The tart can be topped with all sorts of interesting things from the garden or the store cupboard. This one, first made when I cooked lunch for Michael Pollan, is generally voted as the favourite by my family and friends.

Ingredients

  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 3 large Agria potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 fennel bulbs, sliced paper thin
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 150 g crumbly feta cheese
  • ½ cup olives, preferably stones removed
  • 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and rind cut into small dice
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • Fresh Italian parsley, stalks removed

Method

Roll out the pastry to fit a 30cm x 40cm oven tray. Allow the pastry to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

Meanwhile peel the potatoes, cut into 1.5 cm slices and simmer in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and cool.

Beat the egg and brush over the surface of the pastry. Spread the potato slices over the egg, and if there’s any extra egg, brush the potatoes with this.

Layer the fennel on top of the potatoes and scatter the seeds over. Crumble the cheese over the fennel next, and then dot the top with olives and preserved lemon dice. Season with pepper and salt.

Place in the hot oven and turn the heat up an extra 10°C so the pastry really starts to cook. When the pastry is puffed and golden brown on the edges and underside (should take about 20 minutes, but this will depend on your oven) remove the tart from the oven. Scatter over the parsley leaves and cut into generous wedges to serve.

Serves 6 as a meal with salad or makes up to 24 pieces as a pre-dinner snack.

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

Chardonnay
Felton Road 2007
Man O' War 2007

Viognier
Millton Estate River Point 2007
Hans Herzog 2007

Pinot Noir
Lime Rock White Knuckle Hill 2007

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