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21 May 2017 6 comments


R U B Y   B E E T S ,   S E A S O N A L   E A T S

This recipe essentially came about because I wanted to show off the gorgeously dainty thyme flowers that have sprouted in our garden. I did toy with the idea of a lemon and thyme cake but many of my recent recipes have been sweet (not that I'm complaining obviously!) and I've been really coveting goats cheese, with it's lemony tang, especially with beetroot. Hope you enjoy!



This little tart makes for the perfect veggie lunch. It's surprisingly rich and filling, and has plenty to tempt the tastebuds, from it's sweet filling, sharp goats cheese and welcome crunch of walnut and crisp pastry. And of course for the aesthetically minded, it's awfully pretty ;) The perfect picnic party-piece. So without further ado, here's what you'll need:






3-4 beetroot (around 250g)
125g goats cheese
1 red onion
30ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
Fresh thyme
1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
75ml thick double cream
1 egg
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Handful of walnuts

200g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
60ml water

OR, buy all-butter, shop-bought, shortcrust - it's an exceedingly similar result.


01. Trim the beetroot and place into a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes, Plunge into cold water, peel, coarsely grate and set aside.

02. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. If you're making your own pastry, whiz the flour, butter, thyme and a pinch of salt in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand. Add 60ml water and blitz again until the mix comes together into a ball. Wrap in cling and place in the fridge for half an hour. Otherwise, roll out the shop bought pastry to 5mm thick. Line a tin (I'm using a 14 x 4.5 inch rectangular tin, but a 9 inch circular tin will also do) with the pastry, and chill for 15 minutes.

03. Line the pastry with greaseproof, then baking beans or uncooked rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until pale golden in colour.

04. In the meantime, slice the onion and fry in a teaspoon of oil and a twist of salt until translucent and yielding. Add the grated beetroot, balsamic, crushed garlic, sugar and thyme and cook for 5 minutes or until shiny and syrupy. (The first time I made this tart, I skipped adding the beetroot, but frying it off with the onions helps dry it out and stops the moisture leaking into your pastry and making it soggy. Duly noted for the following times!)

05. Spread the ruby beet mixture into your blind-baked pastry case and crumble over chunks of goats cheese - I like to add a generous twist of pepper at this point too. Mix up the cream, egg and nutmeg (I added a spoon of the beetroot mix to make mine pink, which clearly made no difference in the final tart) and pour over the tart.

06. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden. Sprinkle over chopped walnuts and thyme flowers, and serve in slices, warm.




I shan't deny, it takes a little time and effort to make, but it's a really lovely to put together leisurely on a Sunday, with a mug of tea at hand and the radio on in the background. And if you decide to give it a go (don't forget to tweet me a pic @jennifer_btb!), I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)

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