Carmelized Potato Parsnip Tart

A few weeks ago, I found something fantastic.

Something that is destined to change a lot of things in my avid kitchen. Like how I make Ina's goat cheese & tomato tart or cinnamon buns, for instance.

That is, if I ever decide to go ahead and try making them.

I've heard so many good things about puff pastry, though I had never worked with before. When I offered to make a vegetable tart for Christmas Eve after seeing it in Food Network Magazine, I had to give it a test drive before serving it on the big day. And since puff pastry plays a major role in this star dish, I figured it was time.

Not only was the intimidating pastry super easy to work with, it baked up into a flaky delicious base for the sweet and savory tart. Topped with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, onions and a light caramel sauce, this tart was a perfect weeknight dinner as well as a delicious hot appetizer cut into small pieces for our Christmas Eve celebration.

Carmelized Potato Parsnip Tart
*Adapted from Food Network Magazine
2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
1/2 C sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
All purpose flour, for rolling out the pastry

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut up the potatoes, parsnips and sweet potatoes.  Toss with olive oil, onion, salt and pepper, spread onto a {foil-lined} baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

In a sauce pan, mix 2 tbsp water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir frequently so as not to burn. Cook for about 7 minutes until the sauce is amber. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar.

Pour and spread {very quickly before it hardens} into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish (Note: The first time I used an aluminum baking dish, but the second time I used glass. Since the caramel hardens very quickly, I found the glass dish to work a bit better). Layer the vegetables on top, sprinkling with a bit of salt, the sage and oregano.

 

Sprinkle on the mozzarella. Next, roll out the thawed puff pastry using a rolling pin and a bit of flour. Once it's rolled out to the size to cover the vegetables, prick the entire thing with a fork (This is very important! Prick it allllll over. See below image). Cover the cheese and vegetables, folding the ends of the pastry in if it's too big.

Put it in the oven. And be careful of who's holding the camera while putting said tart in oven. Sometimes the photos turn out semi-inappropriately.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce the temperature to 350, baking for 15-20 minutes move until finished. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Here's where it gets tricky. Since this is essentially an upside down tart, it requires a little skill to get it out of the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the tart. Place a cutting board face down over the top of the pan and very quickly (with potholders on - it's still hot!), turn the entire pan over onto the cutting board. The tart should come right out, but some banging on the top and light shaking might be in order. If any pieces stick to the pan, just replace them on top of the tart.

Don't worry, I've made it twice and didn't have a problem getting it out of the pan either time!

 

Doesn't it look delicious? The carmelization on top of the savory vegetables over the flaky crust is simply mouth-watering. Even the blackened bits were to die for. Oh and I have to admit that I had also not working with parsnips before this endeavor and always felt they fell into that 'obscure ingredient' category. I'm so happy that I finally jumped on the parsnip train! It's a great, carrot-like vegetable that was a simply wonderful addition to the potato duo.

So there you have it. A yummy, easy tart that's perfect for a weeknight dinner or for an elegant party. Have you ever worked with puff pastry? How about parsnips, or another obscure ingredient?