There is a real divide in my house, my husband and daughter are not overly keen on beetroot, I on the other side, love it. I’ve been eating beetroot all sorts of ways since I was a kid. Beetroot sandwiches being one of my favourite things. Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! This time of year I cannot resist buying bunches of fresh beets, I love everything about beetroot, the earthiness and the colour always amazes me. And living here in Ely, where beetroot is grown in abundance, well it would be rude not to share some lovely beet recipes with you. Like this rustic beetroot and goat’s cheese tart.
Now, my pastry skills aren’t the best, let’s just say they are rustic, I’m getting better but still have a way to go. I just don’t seem to be able to get that perfect pastry edge. On the positive side, I’m not getting any soggy bottoms so that’s good! I guess practice makes perfect when it comes to pastry. But that doesn’t mean the pastry in this beetroot and goat’s cheese tart doesn’t taste amazing, because my friends, it does. And that’s why despite my perfectionist tendencies I am still putting this recipe up today. This beetroot and goat’s cheese tart is lovely, even my beetroot adverse husband and daughter loved it. Which says a lot! So I think it would be a shame for me not to share it with you even if I’m not 100% happy with the
rough rustic appearance of the pastry.
So, the pastry for this beetroot and goat’s cheese tart is melt in your mouth buttery, flaky and herby, the thyme is perfect for the earthiness of the beetroot. I roasted the beetroot for this tart which I feel amplifies the earthiness of the beets. I added some soft, almost caramelised red onions to the base before I filled it – which gives the tart a lovely sweetness. The goat’s cheese is creamy and salty and the walnuts add that extra crunchy texture. Add more thyme in the mixture and you have a gloriously autumnal, tasty tart. Golden around the edges with ruby red nuggets of beetroot peeking out, this tart is a joy.
I made this beetroot and goat’s cheese tart for dinner, and we had it for lunch the next day too. I will admit to sneaking a little slice as a snack, and I dare say you could probably have this for brunch also if you are greedy enough. This tart will keep in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. You can have it warm or cold, I’ve eaten it both ways and I favour having it warm. It’s best heated up in the oven if you do want it warm. Served with a green salad this really was a lovely meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Tart
For the pastry
- 175 g (6oz or 1 & 1/2 cups) of plain flour (all purpose)
- 100 g (4oz) of chilled butter cut into cubes
- 2 large free range egg yolks
- 1 tbs chopped thyme leaves
- 4 tbs chilled water
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the filling
- 450 g (3 cups) of raw beetroot scrubbed then cut into chunks
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 small red onions sliced
- 150 g (1+1/4 cups) goat's cheese sliced
- 25 g (a scant 1/4 of a cup) walnut halves broken into smaller pieces
- 2 large free range eggs
- 150 ml (2/3 of a cup) double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
To make the pastry
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 356 F. I use an electric fan oven, please adjust according to your own oven.
- Add the flour, butter, 1/4 tsp of salt and thyme leaves to a food processor and blend until you have a breadcrumb consistency.In a small bowl mix together the egg yolks and the chilled water. Keep blending the mixture, adding one tablespoon of the egg mixture at a time to the food processor, until the dough comes together in a ball. I used 4 tablespoons.Transfer the pastry to a board then shape into a fat disk, wrap in cling film then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, it should be wide enough to generously cover a round 22 cm oven proof dish. Place the pastry onto the dish and gently push in the edges with your thumb. Roughly trim the edges leaving extra pastry for shrinking. Prick the pastry a few times with a fork. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Keep any leftover pastry for patching up any cracks.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place a round of parchment paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans. Bake in the top third of the oven for 15 minutes then take it out of the oven and remove the paper and beans. Check for any cracks and seal them up with the leftover pastry if needed. Bake again for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
For the filling
- Place the beetroot on a baking tray add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper. Mix well then place on the top shelf of the oven and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks. The beetroot is done when it is soft.
- In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, until the onions are very soft. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the eggs and cream in a bowl and stir in the thyme leaves and 1/4 teaspoons each of sea salt and black pepper.
To make the tart
- Spread the red onions over the base of the tart, then spread the beetroot over the onions. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the beetroot then add the goat's cheese. Sprinkle over the walnuts.Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 25 minutes, the tart is done when the top is golden brown and the filling should is cooked through. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes then carefully remove it from the tin.
- Serve hot or cold with a green salad.
Need more beetroot recipes? Try this Roasted Beetroot Salad with Orange & Goat’s Cheese or this Kale, Blood Orange, Beetroot & Quinoa Salad
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