Artichoke Tarte Tatin
Words & Photography by Francois de Melogue
This has been a staple lunch item or appetiser on menus of mine for the past 12 years. Growing up I learned to cook at my mother’s apron strings. She made a lot of Tarte Tatins over the course of my childhood. When I became Chef of a Southern French restaurant in Chicago I decided to honour her and her provincial roots with a savoury interpretation using the classic flavours of artichokes, fennel, goats cheese and olives.
You can prep the tart a few hours before eating and then cook at the last minute. Try serving the tart with a simple green salad dressed in a vinaigrette or with roasted beets.
Life is like eating artichokes, you have to go through so much to get so little.
– Thomas Aloysius Dorgan
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
sea salt and black pepper
4 large artichokes, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
2 tbsp shaved Parmesan60g fresh goats cheese
4 puff pastry circles
10 pitted Niçoise olives, chopped
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp mild olive oil
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
Sauté red pepper, fennel and sweet onion in olive oil till soft and lightly caramelised. Season with sea salt and pepper, then reserve.
Trim artichokes using a serrated paring knife till all the outer leaves are removed and there are no more bitter dark green spots. Cut the top off just above the bottom and use a teaspoon to scoop out the choke.
Cook in rapidly boiling salted water with olive oil and sliced lemon till a paring knife easily pierces the bottoms, about ten minutes.
Drizzle a little olive oil in four small blini pans. Slice artichokes thinly and fan out in the pans. Top with a generous tablespoon of caramelised vegetables, shaved Parmesan, 15g of goats cheese then press a circle of puff pastry slightly larger than the pan diameter over. Push the edges firmly around the artichoke. Bake at 450 degrees until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix chopped olives with egg yolks, black pepper and vinegar. Whisk over boiling water until light and creamy. Slowly whisk in olive oil and butter.