This tart really celebrates beetroot, which is bang in season right now. It’s paired here with tangy and luscious taleggio cheese, which sets off the beetroot’s sweet earthiness. I could quite easily be a vegetarian eating lovely veggie stuff like this. I do often eat meat but I could imagine a life without it. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat; I just love vegetables more.
I couldn’t possibly be a vegan though, as that would mean missing out on dairy – and that just wouldn’t do. I don’t want to even imagine a life without cheese, eggs or cream. Unthinkable! I particularly love pairing great, strong cheese with seasonal veg. So this tart is perfect for a gal like me. I decided to do a wholewheat shortcrust pastry, which some of you may find a little too… healthy. But I like it. It’s robustness just seems right. If you prefer, simply make a white flour shortcrust instead. (Or… ssshhh… buy some shortcrust pastry from the shop!)
Makes: a large tart, to serve 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes to rest pastry)
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes (or 45 minutes if using shop bought pastry)
5 or 6 beetroots, with stalks and leaves if possible
200g taleggio cheese
100ml double cream
200ml Greek yoghurt
fresh thyme, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
Salt and pepper
200g wholemeal flour
3/4 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 24cm flan tin with a loose bottom.
- First make your pastry. Rub your butter into your flour until breadcrumb like. Mix your water in and bring it together to make a dough. It’s quite crumbly with wholemeal flour, so you may need a little more water. Make a ball and cling film it, then rest for 1/2 hour in the fridge.
- When it’s been rested, work it a bit to get it going, then roll out to about 3mm thick. You want to more than cover the tart tin, with enough hanging over sides so it doesn’t shrink back.
- Cover your tin with the pastry, pressing it into the corners and patching up any holes that occur, then line with baking paper loosely, and fill with baking beans (or dried beans) and bake blind for 30 mins. Then take out the beans and paper and bake for a further 15 minutes until browned a little. Set aside to cool a little.
- If the stalks and leaves are in good condition and quite fresh like mine were, after washing and patting dry, saute them gently over a low heat with some garlic, for about 20 mins. Set aside.
- Roast your peeled and halved beetroot, tossed in a little olive oil, for about 40 minutes, depending on how big they are, until tender. You may want to wrap them in foil to prevent them over caramelising, but I didn’t bother. Once roasted, set aside. Slice when cooled into thick pieces.
- Whisk your eggs, yoghurt, cream, salt and pepper.
- Roughly chop your taleggio into about inch sized cubes.
- Place your stalks and leaves, if using, evenly and artfully on the base. Do the same with your beetroot and cheese. Then pour your cream and eggs over carefully, up to the very top.
- Place in the oven for 35-45 minutes. Serve with a simple green salad. It’s also good cold the next day. Especially with, horror of horrors, salad cream!