Caramelised Beetroot, Feta, Rocket and Walnut Tart

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Okay, this recipe sort of came by chance.  I had some beetroots in my fridge that were starting to look a bit sad, so decided that they better be cooked up and eaten and like now !  I hate any form of waste, so …. I was wondering how I could incorporate cooked beetroot into like a pie kind of thing or pizza.  The pizza idea intrigued me, but sadly I didn’t have enough gluten-free flour at hand, so that idea went out the window.  Then I remembered I had some frozen store-bought puff pastry ….yes, don’t stone me, it happens, I am all for the quick and easy sometimes :-), and really lets get real, all that effort in making pastry, for a quick little pie goodie…..store-bought wins! well, today it did !!!

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Once the pastry had de-frosted it was all plain sailing.  I caramelised the beets in syrup and butter, this is a trick my mom used to use for caramelising beets for a beets salad, and it works like a dream, so thought, why the heck not now… It’s quick and so delicious, I can literally eat the beets from the pot this way (just saying).

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The combo of feta and beetroot always works for me, so the rest was history with my fresh rocket in the garden looking a bit bedraggled with the weather we have been having…and of course, it wouldn’t be an invention with me if nuts weren’t involved.  I dry toasted the walnuts.  I am sure any nuts would do for that crunch, it is just that I had walnuts and I was sort of in the mood to use whatever I had at hand without venturing out to the shops.

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Need I say, this Caramelised Beetroot, Feta, Rocket and Walnut Tart is a keeper… It takes a bit of time to do, but it is definitely worth it 🙂 .  The time issue is really with the pastry, and really no biggie.  I just found it best to actually bake the pasty first to ensure that the pastry cooked through perfectly.

It is great just straight from the oven, of course…but it also is equally as nice cold.

Oh, and before I forget, please excuse the crazy shaped tart base…it just happened, and I honestly was so wanting this tart to happen…I just could not be bothered to re-roll it again…so it is, sort of rustic looking 🙂 .

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Caramelised Beetroot, Feta, Rocket and Walnut Tart

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  1 hour and 5 minutes

Total time:  1 hour and 25 minutes

Serves 2 – 4

Ingredients:

80 grams salted butter

130 grams traditional golden syrup

280 grams fresh sliced beetroot

400 grams puff pastry

100 – 120 grams feta cheese disc, crumbled

handful of fresh rocket

handful of toasted walnuts

melted butter for basting pastry

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking tray (approximately 40 x 28 centimeters/15.5 x 11.00 inches in size) with baking paper and dust with a little flour to prevent any sticking.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the beetroots and peel.  Slice the beetroots into fairly thin-ish slices.  This is quite a messy job, and your hands will end up looking ….ummmm not so good with pink/red beetroot stains all over.  Just work quite quickly with the beets and then wash your hands and hopefully they stains will go and you won’t look as if you were involved in a crime scene! (or put gloves on, or if you can operate with plastic bags over your hands, go for it).

Anyway once that is done, the worst is over.

Melt the butter in a small pot, this will take a few seconds, then add the syrup, stir around quickly. Place the sliced beetroot into the syrup mixture and allow to cook for literally 8 minutes on high, turn the heat off and remove the pot from the stove.

Then, sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and start to roll out your pastry to about 2 – 3 millimeters in thickness.  To give it a rustic feel (like mine), don’t be too pedantic about what shape it happens to be.

Place the pastry on your greased and floured baking tray.

Then, with a knife, gently but firmly make an indentation about 2 – 3 centimeters from the edge of your pastry shell all the way around, but not actually piercing the pastry straight through. (This acts as a guide for the pastry, and when it cooks that 2 -3 centimeter section actually rises very slightly and forms like a lip around the pastry base…quite cool hey.)

Using a fork, prick the inside of the pastry base.  Do not prick the section from the edge of the pastry to the line that you made 2 – 3 centimeters in from the pastry.

Brush the entire pastry shell with the melted butter for basting.

Now, place the pastry shell into the oven, and allow to cook for about 35 minutes and then check it. Mine by this time was getting slightly golden, but it still was not cooked properly through, so I put a piece of aluminium foil over with the shiny side upwards from the pastry and let it cook for a further 15 minutes.  Once the base is cooked, take it out of the oven.

Take the caramelised beetroot from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on top of all the fork holes (on your pastry shell)

Baste the edges of the pastry again with a little melted butter.

Place in the preheated oven for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry has turned a nice golden brown.

Once done, remove from the oven,  top with chunks and crumblings of feta cheese, loads of fresh rocket leaves and dry toasted walnuts.

This is best straight from the oven, so cut and serve hot !

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  To dry toast walnuts:  Place raw walnuts in a frying pan, do not add any oil, as nuts contain their own natural oils.  With a spatula, keep moving the walnuts around, otherwise they could burn.  After a few minutes you will find the walnuts starting to toast.  Do not leave them unattended on the stove or they will burn. Once done, remove the pan from the stove and allow to cool.

 

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Rustic Semi Healthy Pizza

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This is so super easy, it is ridiculous !  I had 5 or 6 phyllo pastry sheets left over in the refrigerator.  When I unravelled them, I noticed they were torn, and broken, far from repair.  I contemplated tossing them out, but that is far from what I really wanted.  I wanted to do something with them.  Tossing them out would just be pure waste…..So I decided I would just do my best, unravel what I could , put all the pieces together and of course use melted butter over each layer of pastry, and go from there.  I really had no idea what I was going to concoct. Firstly I took out my baking tray, sprayed it with spray ‘n cook and prepared the phyllo pastry.  The bigger pieces I placed at the bottom and basically just layered the bits on top of that.  I folded the corners and edges in, to give it a bit of a rustic looking finish.  The plan was that, that would act as a lip so to speak, to my filling so that my filling would not fall out.

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At that point I had no idea what filling I was going to use.  I had no idea whether this rustic pizza would be going back into the oven, it was a matter of…well….whatever happens, happens. ( I had not even taken photo’s at this point…I did not even know if it was worthy of being photographed!) Anyway, so the rustic base was done, and I decided to put it in the oven to bake until golden brown, with a couple holes made with a sharp knife in the base of the pastry (this just helps release some steam and will prevent the phyllo pastry from puffing up). Whilst that was cooking I had to think of a filling and to be honest, I had not decided until this rustic pizza was out of the oven, so it was a matter of grab, chop and disperse.  Feta, cherry tomatoes, rocket, spring onions and toasted sunflower seeds ended up being the topping and so the Semi Healthy Rustic Pizza was born…AWESOME !!!

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Rustic Semi Healthy Pizza

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time 25 minutes

Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients

5-6 sheets phyllo pastry

about 3-4 tablespoons of butter melted

Topping:

1/2 disc of plain Clover Feta Cheese

8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 spring onion, sliced thinly

8-10 fresh rocket leaves

a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds

Instructions

Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees C.

Grease a medium sized baking tray.

Separate as best you can the phyllo pasty.  Put a damp cloth on the remaining pastry so it does not dry out.

Place a layer of phyllo pastry on the baking sheet, and moisten liberally with melted butter.  Continue this until all 5/6 sheets are done.

Then fold in the corners and the sides of the pastry, again moisten with melted butter.

Using a sharp knife, pierce the bottom of the phyllo pastry base a few times.

Place in pre-heated oven, until golden brown. (Check after ten minutes.)

Once the pastry is a nice golden brown colour, remove from the oven and continue to fill the pizza base with the crumbled feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and toasted sunflower seeds.

(Alternatively you can use any topping you prefer)

Enjoy 🙂