Anchovies are much maligned. Despite the prominence in the title, the little anchovy here is quite demure. In fact, nearly hidden. A couple of small fillets is all this recipe needs to transform simple sauteed greens into something deeper, richer and far less ascetic than "greens" signals to the modern eater.
It's part of the title only to avoid the surprise and potential wincing when you read through the small ingredients list. Don't let stereotypes of bad fillets on even worse pizza or popular sentiment (in America, anyway) prevent you from trying this just once. This poor little fish makes these greens sumptuous and (as much as I hate to utter it) healthy. Yes, you can put those two words together, thanks to the little anchovy.
Nothing against apple pie, but alone, it never quite cut it for it me. Oh I admire the pairing of crust and fruit and the middle ground of spiced juices that cools into a goo that, when done well, is quite heavenly. But more often than not, the bottom crusts turn out as appealing thickly-spread wallpaper glue and the fruit tastes more of the sugar jar than of the tree and the sun that babied it into existence. And if there were a top crust? That's a whole other story. You don't want to get me started.
Therein lies the appeal to the classic tarte tatin. It's one of those cases where things in another language — especially French — immediately sound more appealing, sophisticated and delicious.
Boeuf bourguignon = red wine beef stew
Sole Meuniere = Sauteed Sole in Butter
[and my favorite ...]
Tarte Tatin = Upside-down apple tart
But there really is no translation for what I ever so monstrously created over the weekend. As usual, it started with a craving. Combined with the task of bringing dessert to a gathering, it required accessible ingredients, fairly forgivable methodology and something easily shared with a crowd. I craved apples an that made me think of cheese. Something exceptionally sharp. Maybe made by someone who loved their cows as much as they loved profit. I craved apples they way one does when images of bronzed, caramelized slices appear in mind and trigger borderline vulgar reactions from smacking lips, excessive drool and rumbling stomachs.
Thus, by way of France, England, Vermont and many points in between (not least of which my Utah kitchen) — Tarte Tatin, with a Cheddar Accent.