Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beetroot and Goats Cheese Tart


It is Easter weekend, so we are going to have a slightly more luxurious Sunday lunch tomorrow and that means a bit of preparation today. This is not a bad thing, as the weather is more keep-warm-in-the-kitchen than out-and-about-in-the-garden anyway.

For our starter I will be making a beetroot and goats cheese tart, a new recipe that I tried out this week and can already see it becoming a regular favourite. I just know that using roasted tomatoes, courgettes and/or peppers will work just as well during the summer and butternut squash with walnuts and curry spices will give it a warm autumnal twist.

The main course will be pork, an obvious choice as we have recently filled our freezer with half a free-range pig, see here. Not too sure how we will cook it yet but oven roasted with a nice crackling and roast potatoes seems to be winning the vote so far.

As it is Easter and it would be wrong not to have chocolate, a luxury chocolate mousse with strawberries will be the dessert – we also have a glut of chicken eggs so this is a perfect recipe to use them up. For the recipe, inspired by French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure see here.

Beetroot and Goats Cheese Tart.

french village diaries recipes beetroot and goats cheese tart
Beetroot and Goats Cheese Tart
For the pastry – you can use ready made puff or short crust pastry, but I like to make my own (short crust). This makes enough pastry for a rectangular tin 27cm (10½”) by 17cm (6 ½”) and 3.5cm deep (1 ½”) – this is my preferred tin (and pastry recipe) for all quiches/tarts.

135g plain flour
75g butter
1 egg beaten
a little cold water

Using cold fingers rub the butter into the flour until breadcrumb like consistency. Add the egg and enough water to just bring it to a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for at least half an hour in the fridge.

Line the tin with baking paper, then roll out the chilled dough on the paper. Fit into the tin, prick the base with a fork, line with more baking paper, add baking beans and bake blind until the edges of the pastry are just turning golden. This is about 10 minutes at gas mark 4, but my oven is not very reliable!

For the filling
Two cooked beetroot (without vinegar) or other roasted summer vegetables
Two onions
Goats cheese
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Sprig of fresh thyme
Walnut halves (optional)
Salt and pepper

Thinly slice the beetroot and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the onions and cook until soft and golden in a small amount of olive oil and season.

When the pastry has had it’s first bake add the onions to the base, then layer the beetroot and crumble over the goats cheese, sprinkle with fresh thyme, the walnuts and drizzle over some olive oil. Place back in the oven for about 25 mins, leave to cool a little before serving.

This makes a delicious lunch served with a side salad, is perfect for picnics or as a starter.