Potato Torte with Herbed Parmesan Bread Crumbs
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 1/4 cups packed fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus sprigs for garnish
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil (to keep oil from dripping out of pan), leaving enough overhang to cover top of torte. Brush foil with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Peel potatoes and slice as thinly as possible; place in a large bowl of cold water to prevent browning.
In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, thyme, zest, and garlic.
Use your hands to lift about one-third of potatoes from bowl; arrange in bottom of lined pan, slightly overlapping. (The water clinging to slices will generate steam to tenderize them as they bake.) Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup bread crumb mixture. Repeat with another one-third of potatoes, salt, pepper, oil, and crumb mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes on top, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set remaining bread crumb mixture aside.
Fold edges of foil over torte, sealing to lock in steam. Place a 9-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet on torte to weight it down.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove weight; uncover and sprinkle reserved bread crumb mixture on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
Using oven mitts, remove sides of springform pan and peel back foil. Using a flat spatula, carefully slide torte onto a platter. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Cut into wedges to serve.