Shallot tarte tatin with watercress salsa verde


300g shallots
2 tbsp olive oil
15g butter
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp light brown soft sugar
2 sprigs thyme
150g puff pastry
75g soft goat’s cheese
200g cherry vine tomatoes
Flour, for dusting
Salt and pepper
For the salsa verde:
½ clove garlic, finely chopped
15g watercress, chopped
10g mint leaves, chopped
10g basil leaves, chopped
10g capers, drained
10g cornichons, chopped
½ sheet of nori seaweed, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 180°C. To make the shallots easier to peel, place them in a heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover.  Leave for ten minutes before draining and peeling.  Use a sharp knife to trim off the roots, if the shallots are quite large you may want to cut them in half.
Heat the butter and 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the shallots, along with a pinch of salt, and fry gently for 10-15 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.  Stir in the vinegar and sugar along with the leaves from one sprig of thyme and continue to cook for a couple of minutes before removing from the heat.
Take two 10cm tart tins, preferably without loose bases, and scatter the remaining thyme leaves inside. If using loose-based tart tins make sure you line them with greaseproof paper first to prevent the vinegar and sugar sauce from running out of the bottom.  Split the shallots evenly between the two tins and tip in the sticky sauce.
Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out two 12-cm diameter rounds, then carefully place each round on top of the tart tins, tucking in the edges.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden then leave to rest in the tins for five minutes.
Place the tomatoes in a small baking tray. Drizzle over the rest of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper before roasting in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
Finally, make the salsa verde. Mix all ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning.  You may need to add a little more olive oil if necessary.
Turn out the tarts and serve warm with a good dollop of goat’s cheese, the roasted tomatoes on the vine and a good drizzle of the salsa verde.