Serves 4 (as a starter) | Prep 1 hour (you can reduce by buying pre-cooked beetroot in natural juices) | Cook 30 mins

Starter / Vegetarian (without bacon)

By calling this rustic, it means I’m able to be slap dash with the presentation of the pastry and not be sorry ’bout it. Scarred by how pedantic the process can be to create the flakiest puff in my chef’s course, I now opt for a ready made, ready rolled pastry. The smoked bacon in this tart makes it something different from the normal goats cheese & beetroot combo. For vegetarians that are fond of this combination, just omit the bacon, it’s a lovely dish either way.

This would go nicely with Griddled Romaine Lettuce Hearts

BEETROOT- Beetroot are high in potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, B6, C, folic acid and anti-oxidants. (SOURCE http://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-eating/guide/beetroot-benefits ) The nitrates in beetroot help lower blood pressure and may help heart disease. Also, beets contain boron which is good for sexual stamina and all-round energy levels! (SOURCE http://www.undergroundhealth.com/12-healthiest-foods-on-earth/ )

Ingredients.

1 sheet ready made / rolled puff pastry

2-3 small beetroot

1 egg

100ml cream

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150g soft goats cheese

nutmeg, a small grating

1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped

80g smoked bacon lardons (optional)

 

Method.

Preheat your oven to 210c / 190c (fan) / Gas Mark 6

 

  1. Peel the beetroot and drizzle in oil, wrapping in individual foil wraps and roasting in the oven for an hour or until tender when pierced with a knife.
  2. Dry fry the bacon pieces until crisp and set aside on kitchen towel to soak up any excess oils.
  3. Make the filling by whisking together the egg, goats cheese, nutmeg and thyme leaves.
  4. Slowly incorporate the cream a little at a time whilst whisking.
  5. With your ready rolled pastry sheet, keeping the pastry on the grease proof paper, transfer to a large baking sheet.
  6. Begin to roll up the edges so that you are creating a tall enough wall to accommodate your filling. Seal down edges with a little water.
  7. Pour the filling into the pastry case. Slice the beetroot thinly and lay on top of the filling. Be careful not to make the filling flow over the pastry wall. Scatter the bacon lardons on top.
  8. Bake in the oven for anything up to 30 minutes (depends on your oven) . Your filling should be set, and the edges of the pastry golden.
  9. Remove and leave to stand for a few minutes before slicing and serving.