Recipe: Potato, Fennel, Mozzarella & Anchovy Tart

Potatoes are the anchor ingredient in this flavourful tart. 

Words and recipe: Extract from It Takes a Village by Lauraine Jacobs

Flavourful, freshly dug potatoes abound on the Ōmaha Flats during spring and summer and are the anchor ingredient of this tart. It is so easy to make, and if you don’t have exactly these ingredients on hand you can make simple substitutions. This is a winner when cut into small squares to serve with drinks.


500g pre-made puff pastry (preferably Paneton)
3 large Agria potatoes
1 fresh free-range egg
1 large fennel bulb, sliced paper-thin
2 tsp fennel seeds
150g ball mozzarella cheese
1 small jar white anchovies, drained
1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and rind finely diced
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
½ cup fresh rocket leaves


Roll out the pastry to fit a 30cm x 40cm baking tray, lining it into the tray neatly to the edges. Place in the refrigerator and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200°C. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, cut into 1.5cm slices and simmer in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and cool. Beat the egg and brush over the surface of the pastry. Spread the potato slices over the pastry, and if there’s any extra egg, use it to brush the potatoes.

Layer the fennel slices on top of the potatoes and scatter over the fennel seeds. Cut the cheese into small rounds and place over the fennel. Scatter the anchovies over the top with the diced preserved lemon. Season with pepper and sea salt.

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Place in the hot oven and turn the heat up an extra 10°C so the pastry really starts to cook. When the pastry is puffed and golden brown on the edges and underside (this should take about 20 minutes, but will depend on your oven), remove the tart from the oven. Scatter over the rocket leaves and cut into generous wedges to serve.

Serves 6 as a meal with a salad, or makes up to 24 pieces as a pre-dinner snack.

Extracted from It Takes a Village: A guide to Matakana and its surrounding districts by Lauraine Jacobs. Published by Massey University Press. 9 September 2021. Limpbound, RRP $45

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