Recipe – Potato & Fontina Tart with Smoked Eel


This deliciously versatile potato & fontina tart is vegetarian … but potatoes and smoked fish are such natural partners that I tried it with smoked eel and loved that version too. Hot-smoked rainbow trout also works; either way use about 300g flesh if using seafood. If fontina’s not available, use any mild washed rind cheese, I’ve used Tasmanian Heritage Red Square with great results. Serve it with a textured Rosé de Provence such as La Chapelle Gordonne from the Vranken Pommery stable.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 x 375g butter puff pastry sheet (see notes)
  • 1 x 600g smoked eel, flesh picked (optional)
  • 400g Dutch cream potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced
  • 1 brown onion, very finely sliced
  • ⅓ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
  • 125g fontina, rind removed, sliced
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 25g butter
  • 8 sage leaves, torn
  • ½ cup watercress sprigs
Method
  1. Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to 210°C.
  2. Place pastry on a sheet of baking paper and gently roll out to 27cm x 35cm.
  3. Using your hands, toss eel, potato, onion, crème fraîche and caraway together well.
  4. Spread in an even layer over the pastry leaving a 5cm border and ensuring the potato slices aren’t stuck together.
  5. Top with fontina and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Fold the edges of the pastry up to partially enclose the filling.
  7. Brush well with egg.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until well coloured. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan, add sage and fry for a minute or so, until crisp.
  10. Pour over the tart, top with watercress cut into squares and serve.

I use Carême butter puff pastry (the bonus is it’s already the right dimensions) and Pepe Saya crème fraîche.
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