Tarte tatin aux aubergines et oignons/ Aubergine and onion tarte tatin
An american friend of mine inspired this dish after posting a picture on facebook of the meal she enjoyed the most on a recent trip to Paris (yes the best meal she ate in Paris was a vegetarian dish). It looked so good we had to try to recreate it!
One pack of ready rolled puff pastry
3 medium onions chopped, not too small
1 med-large aubergine cut into 1-2cm thick slices
A few of sprigs of fresh thyme (or a teaspoon of dried)
3 plump cloves of garlic chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar to deglaze onion pan
In a large saucepan heat the oil in a medium flame and gently cook the onions until they are slightly browned and starting to caramelise, about 10 minutes, add the garlic and cook gently for a few more minutes. Add some black pepper and salt and stir.
In another frying pan, one that can go in the oven, so cast iron or one you can take the handle off, or a ridiculously expensive tatin pan. Heat a small amount of olive oil and cook the aubergine slices on both sides until they start to colour. Turn off the heat. Put the onion mixture on top and in the gaps between the aubergines. At this point you can add slices of anti-pasti sliced peppers if you like or a few chopped up black olives, whatever you fancy. Keep the onion pan on the heat and add about 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Pour over the aubergine and onion mixture. Pull the leaves off the thyme sprigs and sprinkle over.
Unroll the pastry on top of the onions, tucking in around the edges in not a particularly tidy sort of a way.
Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry browns. Remove from the oven and jiggle the pan around to loosen the aubergines and turn out onto a plate as soon as you can. Serve hot with a huge green salad with a balsamic dressing.
So far the tarte is vegan. If you are not and you want to add a little something else, crumble some fresh goat’s cheese (not the really goaty stuff as the flavour will overpower the other ingredients), or feta cheese, on the top (see the photo below…
A nice glass of dry cider or Felis brune beer goes rather well with it (as we discovered yesterday)