Beetroot is such a versatile vegetable and is also incredibly good for you, not to mention it's beautiful, intense colour. Despite the fact that it is one of my favourite vegetables, I don't think that I have a single recipe using it on the blog! (Until now). That's a shame because there are so many brilliant ways to use it, from soup to chocolate cake; I will make sure that I remember to post more recipes using beetroot from now on.
So it's a good thing that Love Beetroot got in touch to ask if I would like to try one of their new beetroot recipes created by Chef Director Dan Doherty for their Don’t Skip a Beet campaign, which aims to encourage us to cook and experiment more with the purple superfood. There is a new range of pre-cooked sweet baby beetroots available in most supermarkets; some flavoured, such as sweet chilli flavour, as well as plain cooked. They are a wonderful and fuss free way to introduce powerful antioxidants into your meals and Dan has been exploring new cooking methods and flavour combinations to ensure that beetroot is the must have ingredient in every kitchen.
Dan wants us to challenge ourselves with the meals we make and he has created four beetroot packed sharing/ side dishes bursting with colour, brimming with flavour and easy to make - a mild malt beetroot dip with feta, sesame & lime, sweet chili beetroot & ricotta filo tarts, baby beetroot tarte tatin with cheddar pastry and goat's cheese and beet-a-ganouch - sweet chili beetroot with sumac yogurt and toasted pine nuts. I (as you can see) chose to make the tarte tatin because anything with cheese and pastry is a winner in my book.
The tarte is really easy to make and because it uses pre-cooked beetroot and shop bought puff pastry it is quite quick too. The puff pastry is layered up with grated mature cheddar cheese which gives it a fantastic flavour. The baby beetroots are cooked with balsamic vinegar, honey and thyme which is reduced down to a sweet, tangy, sticky glaze (make sure you really reduce it down until there is barely any liquid left so you don't end up with a soggy tart). I let them cool a little then arranged the beetroots in the pan so that they were all rounded side down (which becomes rounded side up when the tart is flipped out) so that the finished tart looked neat, then covered them with the puff pastry and baked it until the pastry was golden brown and crisp. After being allowed to cool in the pan for a bit, the tart is flipped out onto a plate and topped with creamy goats cheese before serving. The cheese is the perfect foil to the sweet, tangy flavour of the tart and it works perfectly when served with a watercress salad.
The tart will serve 4-6 as a starter, and it makes a really lovely dish year round. To try Dan's other recipes, as well as ideas for hundreds of other ways to use beetroot, make sure that you visit the Love Beetroot site.
Baby Beetroot & Goat's Cheese Tarte Tatin
- 320 g (11oz) packet ready rolled puff pastry
- 60 g (2oz) strong cheddar cheese grated
- 540 g (19oz) ready cooked baby beetroot (three 180g packets) each one cut in half
- drizzle olive oil
- couple sprigs fresh thyme
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) balsamic vinegar
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) honey
- salt and pepper
- 100 g (3.5oz) goat's cheese
- First, unroll the puff pastry. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over one half, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Fold over and press down the edges to seal.
- Take a rolling pin and gently roll the pastry so it begins to flatten. Fold it in half, then in half again, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge to firm up, approx. 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take the pan you will use (8-10inch recommended, I used 9inch) for your tatin, and put on a medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, and then the halved beetroots and thyme and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the honey, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper. Once bubbling, simmer rapidly over a high heat until the liquid has reduced right down and become a thick, sticky glaze; there should only be a small amount of liquid left or you will end up with a soggy tatin.
- Allow to cool then arrange the beetroots so that they are all rounded side down.
- Preheat your oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Roll out the pastry again, so it’s back to its original size; then cut out a circle slightly larger than the size of the pan.
- Lay the sheet of pastry over the top of the beetroot in the pan and tuck in the edges. Bake for about 25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Allow the cooked tart to sit in the pan as it is for 20 minutes, then place a plate on top of the pan and carefully flip it over, allowing the tart to come out onto the plate.
- Top with the goats cheese and serve straight away with a watercress salad.
This post is sponsored by Love Beetroot. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love - playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.