Tartiflette is a Savoyard dish that any skiing enthusiasts will be familiar with. It’s an indulgent, gooey and soft combination of deliciously boiled potatoes and baked cheese. There is absolutely nothing healthy about it, and given the recent mercury drop, I am not at all sorry about it! There are as many Tartiflette recipes as people who make it and the only thing that doesn’t seem to divide people is that it should start with a good quality Reblochon cheese.
I’m not here to disagree – however, as a vegetarian this may prove to be a challenge as the traditional AOC version uses animal rennet. In the UK, cheeses are usually clearly labelled, and we ended up founding joy in Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference section – and it did an honest job.
The second challenge a vegetarian will face is how to find an appropriate lardons/pancetta substitute. There are many things you could use, including seitan or quorn bacon although I wouldn’t recommend it – here I turned to the trusty mushroom! You’ll find your own way through to the veggie-friendly, cheesy joy of Tartiflette, and you can read even more about it in this pretty great Guardian piece… to get you started, here’s how I made it:
A Vegetarian Tartiflette
serves 4 as a main – I would recommend serving a green salad on the side to make yourself feel a little better about this naughty treat! A frisée dressed with apple cider vinegar would likely work quite well.
- 6 medium potatoes (about a kilo)
- 1 Reblochon cheese (250 grams)
- 1 small pot crème fraîche (300 ml)
- Butter (for frying and greasing)
- 1 punnet chestnut mushrooms, sliced (250 grams)
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch, fresh curly leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the potatoes into rounds (most recipes will tell you to thinly slice – I mush prefer my Tartiflette potatoes to be a little thicker – about a pinkie finger’s width) and boil for about 10-15mns, or until tender but still holding together well.
- Preheat the oven at around 200 C
- Gently fry the sliced onion, mushroom and crushed garlic together in a generous knob of butter.
- Season with the paprika, a pinch of salt (to taste) and a generous helping of freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the finely chopped parsley before reducing the heat. Introduce the crème fraîche and stir until melted and well combined.
- Lightly butter a lasagna-type dish and layer potatoes with the mushroom sauce. End on a potato layer.
- Slice the Reblochon into 1 cm (ish) strips and arrange on top of your dish.
- Bake until bubbly and golden (which is likely to take around 20 – 30 mns)
- For extra crispiness, leave for a few extra minutes in the cooling oven.
- Enjoy, making sure that a suitable napping area is within easy reach.