Sarah LaCasse, Executive Chef of the Organic Kitchen at our Farm Stand in Carmel Valley, California, developed this potato side dish that rivals gratins for comforting satisfaction — yet it has fewer calories.
Use a mandoline or vegetable slicer to make quick work of slicing the potatoes. Don't forget to select the prettiest slices for the bottom layer, because they will form the showy top when the dish is served. Brown the bottom of the tart of the stovetop to ensure that it will be crusty and golden; then bake the tart gently until the layer of thyme-scented potatoes is tender. Once baked, flip the tart out of the skillet so that the bottom becomes the top.
From Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook by Myra Goodman
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil and thyme. Toss to mix, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Generously brush the sides and bottom of an ovenproof 7-inch skillet with the remaining butter (you may have a little left over). Arrange the potato slices in the skillet, starting at the side and working around the edge and toward the center, overlapping the slices until the bottom of the skillet is covered. Continue, making 2 or 3 layers, until all the potato slices are used.
Tighly cover the skillet with aluminum foil. Place the skillet over medium heat on the stovetop and cook until the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom, 12 to 20 minutes. (Slip a heat-resistant rubber spatula under the potatoes and lift them up a bit to check the color.)
Transfer the covered skillet to the oven and bake the potatoes until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 25 minutes.
Carefully remove the foil and loosen the potato tart from the pan with a spatula or knife. Place a large plate on top of the skillet and, holding the plate securely against the skillet, carefully turn the pan over to release the tart. Cut into 4 or 6 wedges and serve hot.