Potato Nests Filled with Gingered Crab

These potato nests are among the cutest finger foods I enjoy preparing. Don’t be fooled by their appearance— they might look complicated, but in reality they are very simple to make. And the result is a delectable adventure with every bite.

Makes 18 to 20 nests

1 large (225 g; 8 oz) baking potato or sweet potato, peeled and finely grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt
Crushed red or black peppercorns
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 organic green apple, cored and diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup (100 g; 3 1/2 oz) cooked fresh crabmeat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon chopped chives, plus a few sprigs to serve
Crème fraîche, to serve
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to serve
Fleur de sel, to serve

Preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Oil a mini muffin pan or two with cooking spray; set aside.
In a bowl, beat the grated potato with the egg and nutmeg. Add the parsley and season with sea salt and crushed red peppercorns. Take a small amount of the grated potatoes in your hands and squeeze out the excess liquid. Press this into the bottom of each muffin hole in the shape of a nest; repeat with the remaining grated potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter to each nest.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and golden in color. Unmold the nests and let cool on a rack.

In a bowl, gently toss the apple with the lime juice, crab, oil, cilantro, scallion, and chives. Season with sea salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon, spoon a small amount of filling inside each potato nest. Add a dollop of crème fraîche and a few pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and decorate with a few chive sprigs.

Tartine Gourmande cookbook by Beatrice PeltreExcerpted from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. Copyright © 2012 by Beatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.