Sunday, 3 February 2013

Beetroot and Blue Cheese Tart

There's a lot of noise about beetroot at the moment, with suggestions that it has significant health benefits. That apart, although some can't abide it, beetroot can be excellent in a cake mix or salad or - as here - for the star ingredient in a vegetarian dish.

Of course it's noble to buy raw beets and boil them for half an hour or more, but I rarely do this as they are easily available ready-cooked and vacuum packed. If they're served in a salad or otherwise not cooked further, maybe the 'in vinegar' version is good, but I prefer plain.
by Annie Mole
This recipe serves four, and once the pastry is thawed, should take no more than an hour from start to serving. It's fine at room temperature, but best straight from the oven.

As well as the ingredients listed, a lightly-greased flan dish with diameter around 22cm is needed. A floured board and rolling pin are required if you go along with making the pastry a little thinner than it comes. The oven needs to be at 190C (or 175C for fan type).

Beetroot and Blue Cheese Tart

1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry (Jus-Roll now do a 'lighter' version)
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion (about 200g), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 vacuum-pack of ready-cooked beetroot (500g), drained
1 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme)
90g blue cheese, crumbled

1  Unless you like the pastry thick, roll it out more thinly on the floured board. Lift and
    place it carefully over the flan dish and, without stretching, ease the sides down so 
    that it sits fully in the angle between base and side. Run a sharp knife around the top 
    of the dish to remove surplus pastry. (This can be used for jam tarts, pasty, tartlet etc.)
    Keep the dish in the fridge while preparing the filling.

2  Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the onion gently for 8 mins, stirring occasionally.

3  Cut each beetroot into 8 pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Add to the pan with
    the sugar and herbs. Fry for a further 6 mins, occasionally stirring gently.

4  Using a slotted spoon (to avoid making the pastry soggy), lift the beetroot mixture out
    of the pan and spread evenly over the pastry base. Sprinkle the cheese over it.

5  Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 mins or so, until the cheese is bubbling
    and the pastry is browned.

Serving Suggestions 
Boiled and buttered baby or new potatoes, baked potato, stir-fried mange touts, broccoli. (A red or orange vegetable might clash, and we can't be doing with that.) Another idea is button mushrooms sauteed in butter then mixed with a little double cream and dill seeds.

Thanks for looking at this post, anyway. And if you felt like following and don't already, then that would be most excellent!