Sorry I’ve been neglecting you recently. It’s not that I don’t love you any more it’s just that I’ve been really busy with life and people and working on an exciting new business venture that I am desperate to tell you all about.
But not just yet…
First a recipe, because that is why you are here after all. You’re obsessed with food probably, like I am.
I buy beetroots from the market, then I roast them and then I decide what I am going to do with them. Roasted beetroot is a great thing to have in your fridge. You can just add it to a salad with some goat’s cheese & walnuts (classic flavour combinations) if you can’t be bothered with the whole “making the tart” thing or are pushed for time. You can puree it with some chickpeas to make this brilliantly bright magenta coloured Beetroot Hummus, or blend it with some stock into this stunning Spiced Beetroot Soup.
I had pinned this recipe for a Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Walnut Tart on to my Food I Want To Make My Own board and remembered a recipe for a tomato tart with a walnut oatmeal crust that I had cut out of a magazine. You know when you want to find something and you find everything but that one thing?
Anyway, I did eventually find it in a pile of papers in a draw. This crust is a bit like a cheesecake base if you know what I mean, the oats, wholemeal spelt flour and finely chopped walnuts are mixed with olive oil to make a base that you press into the tart case with your hands and push it up the sides.
It’s worth the hassle. You get a slightly thicker than normal, rustic, nutty, crumbly biscuity base that is perfect with the goats cheese & beetroot. And it makes a nice change.
Roasted Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Walnut Tart with a Walnut Oatmeal Crust
Serves 4-6 vegetarian. Adapted from Alexandra Cooks
- 3 or 4 tennis ball (or smaller) size beets (you may not need it all for this recipe)
- olive oil salt & pepper, dried or fresh thyme
Preheat oven 200C. Trim the beets, leaving the root and about 2 inches of stalk still attached, if possible, then wash them gently to get rid of any mud. Dry them and put them on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Roast for 45-50 minutes (depending on size) until tender all the way through.
Leave until cool enough to handle and, using gloves, cut off the roots and stalks then rub off the skins with a small knife. They should come off easily. Remember, beetroot stains, so be careful.
For the pastry crust:
- 135 g wholemeal spelt (or normal) flour
- 65 g oats
- 50 g walnuts, very finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- up to 120 ml cold water
Mix together the flour, oats, walnuts, salt, pepper & thyme in a large bowl with a fork. Then add the olive oil and, using a fork, mix it into the dry ingredients, mashing it together so it is evenly distributed and resembles crumble.
Then slowly drizzle in the water (you may not need all of it) mixing it with the fork until it starts coming together. Using your hands bring it together into a ball and knead gently just until it holds, don’t overwork it. It will be crumbly. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, caramelise the onions…
For the filling:
- 1 large red onion, finely sliced
- salt & pepper
- balsamic vinegar (or balsamic syrup)
- a splosh of red wine or sherry
- a handful of walnuts, roughly chopped (40 g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pot (125 ml) goats (or greek yoghurt)
- rice milk/oat milk/goat milk (or you choice of milk)
- 75 – 100 g goats cheese, crumbled
- fresh dill or parsley to serve
Cook the sliced onions in a frying pan in a few tablespoons of olive oil over a medium high heat with the salt, pepper, thyme, a drizzle of balsamic & a squidge of honey, stirring occasionally until starting to soften, caramelise and stick to the pan, about 8 minutes. Add a splosh of wine or sherry to deglaze the pan and scrape any sticky caramelised bits off the bottom. Cook for a couple of minutes more to cook off the alcohol and reduce any liquid. Leave to cool while you prepare the pastry.
Preheat oven to 200C. Oil and flour a 9 or 10 inch tart tin/dish. Flour you work surface and rolling-pin and roll out your pastry to a flat disc as thin as you can go. This is quite tricky because of the walnuts. I gave up and started to press the disc into the tart tin with my hands. Using your fingertips and heel of your hand press it out and up the sides of the tin any way you can! A flat-bottomed mug can be quite useful too. When you have the base reasonably even, trim off any bits hanging over the edge and use them to fill any holes.
Prick all over the base with a fork and bake the pastry case for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven and lower the heat to 180C.
Spread the caramelised onions evenly over the base then chop 2 or 3 beets into chunky cubes. Scatter these evenly over the base too. You may not need it all. Tumble over your walnuts.
In a measuring jug whisk together the eggs, yoghurt, salt & pepper. then add enough milk to take it up to about 400 ml and whisk together again.
Have you crumbled goats cheese ready, open the oven door and slide out the tray, place the tart on the tray then pour the milk mixture evenly over the filling, top with the crumbled goats cheese and carefully push the tray back in the oven. This should stop any spillage.
Cook for 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before serving sprinkled with fresh dill or parsley and a green salad on the side. It is also lovely served at room temperature for a picnic.
All it needs is a nice glass of wine to go with it. Any suggestions?
I will tell you all about our new business venture in my next post…..
Enjoy the long weekend!