Let's start this new year off with a bang. And by bang I mean this decadent, insanely delicious tart.
If you remember last year, you remember that I don't do resolutions, diets, or new year's cleanses. I don't believe that we should only be setting these kinds of goals one time during the year, and I don't believe that you should throw your life off balance by drastically changing your eating, working, and exercising habits for a week or two.
I do believe in balance, and I do believe in continuously setting goals.
Mad respect for those who do set goals on Jan 1, and even more respect for those who actually accomplish what it is they are seeking .... but these kinds of things are not for me.
I realize that if you are one of those people who have goals set, you may have moved onto salads and detoxing already, and that the thought of anything on the indulgent side may have you running to the gym, but I NEED to share this recipe with you. The truth is, I probably should have shared this with you before the holidays, but it was during the holidays that I made this for the first time, and then I made this over and over and over again because it was such a major crowd pleaser. Even if you cannot think about entertaining guests for months, put this recipe in your back pocket for the next dinner party you are ready to throw.
But, if you're anything like me .... let's throw a dinner party this weekend, just to have a reason to make this tart.
This tart might look familiar, especially if you are a fan of Ottolenghi. This recipe is on the cover of the newly released US version of his book: Ottolenghi, and it just might be my favorite recipe that I have made of his. Actually, it's hard to name just one favorite, so let's call this my favorite 'entertaining' recipe of his.
This tart blows minds. I've witnessed it. If you're wondering what it looks like, it's that look when people take their first bite and their eyes get really wide, it's then followed by some sort of expletive like "wow" or "damn girl".
My response to this reaction has typically been, "well ... anything you serve on puff pastry tastes good" but actually, I shouldn't say that. Most things served on puff pastry feel heavy and greasy and usually make you feel guilty, where this tart has a healthy balance of veggies, with the light, bright flavors of garlic, parsley and chili. It all works...sooo...well.
It is fair to mention that cheese and butter are not normal staples in my diet, but if I am going to bend the rules and go big, this is how I do it. I usually allow a little room for a good quality goat cheese from time to time, and this toasty, melty form is the ultimate exception. If you wanted to make this dairy free, you could do so by either buying or making your own vegan puff pastry and omitting the goat cheese. I'd like to think that a caramelized onion spread would sub in nicely for the cheese.
sweet potato tart with garlic chili oil
(adapted from the sweet potato galette recipe on pg.181 of Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi)
several people as an appetizer
2-3 large sweet potato
4 rectangular sheets of puff pastry (about 9oz), defrosted in the fridge (if it is frozen)
1 organic egg, lightly beaten
a couple of tablespoons of aged goat cheese
4 tablespoons of olive oil (1 tbsp to cook the potatoes, and 3 tbsp for the garlic chili oil)
1 medium red chili, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons of flat leaf parsley
salt + pepper
Pre-cook the sweet potatoes:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
- Sliced the potatoes with a mandolin. I like them to be thin, but not paper thin. You want them to have a little weight to them. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil.
- Bake them for about 15-20 minutes. You want them to have softened, but not yet brown on the edges, since they are going to cook more on the pastry.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the puff pastry:
- Make sure your puff pasty is defrosted if you are using frozen, and then separate the sheet of pastry. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the pastry on top. Whether you are using store bought, or making your own, you want 4 rectangles of puff pastry that are approximately 2 1/2" x 5 1/2". Poke holes all over using a fork, and allow it to rest in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes, or until you are ready to assemble and bake the pastry.
Assemble and bake the pastry:
- Raise the oven temperature to 400º.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and brush lightly with the beaten egg. Then sprinkle and carefully spread the goat cheese along the pastry sheets, being sure to leave a small border around the edges. Then, arrange the potato slices on top, slightly overlapping, but keeping the border clear. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the edges are browning and the pastry is cooked through. You can check by looking underneath the pastry, it should be golden brown.
Make the garlic chili oil, finish and serve:
- While the pastries are baking, make the garlic chili oil. Place chilies, garlic, parsley and oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the pastries come out of the oven, spoon / brush the garlic chili oil over the tops.
- Serve warm or at room temp.