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New Potato Gratin With Tomatoes And Olives

2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
salt and pepper
4 large ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 sprigs thyme
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a 2-quart casserole dish.
Slice the potatoes 3/8-inch thick. Boil them in salted water for
4 minutes, then scoop them out, rinse under cold water, and set
aside. Plunge the tomatoes into the same water for 10 seconds,
then remove and rinse. Peel, halve, and seed. Coarsely chop half
of one tomato; slice the rest crosswise. Warm half the oil in a
skillet over high heat and add the onions, dried thyme, fennel,
and a little pepper. Saute until the onions are lightly browned
and wilted, about 8 minutes. Transfer them to casserole dish.
Scatter the chopped tomato, olives, half the garlic, half the thyme
sprigs, and half the lemon over the top. Cover with the potatoes,
intersperse with the sliced tomatoes, and tuck in the remaining
garlic, thyme, and lemon. Season with salt and pepper; scatter
the capers over the top, and drizzle with the remaining oil. Cover
with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake until the
potatoes are fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes more.


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