So Wednesday was the Autumn Equinox, its officially Autumn and the weatherman said this morning that it may go down to 1 degrees over the weekend, with the chance of a frost in some rural areas, but the sun is out and it looks like the perfect autumnal day out there, so with this in mind I have decided to catch up with all the recipes that I need to get onto the blog and have decided to start with this gorgeous Beetroot and Feta Tart.

Now a tart served with salad may not be your first choice of a good autumnal dish but beetroot is in season now and with the sun still shinning I am not quite ready to let go of the fresh, lighter dishes of the summer jut yet.

I love beetroot and I am also very lucky to get it fresh straight from my Dad’s garden, the colour and taste are beyond compare to those brought in the supermarket and I feel very privileged to be given such gorgeous vegetables that I always make sure that nothing goes to waste. 

I do however have a confession, the recipe below has instructions to make the pastry, on this occasion, as Thursdays are manic and we just didn’t have time to make our own, we used shop brought pastry, criminal I know but I needed to be honest here as I can not say if the recipe below works or is any good and if I am being completely honest, I would of made spelt or wholemeal pastry anyway. Next time I will make my own and will update the post with the results.

This Beetroot and Feta Tart is a beetroot lovers dream, its filling, would be a great dish for a dinner party, as a vegetarian dish, but also made into much smaller ones would be a great starter. It could be a brunch, a main meal or taken to a party as a buffet or side dish, its just so versatile and I absolutely loved it. One other thing, you could use feta or goats cheese, either would be just perfect.

So please be warned, today is blogging day, there is more to follow, hearty warming dishes and even another beetroot recipe.

Buon appetito

Beetroot And Feta Tart

Serves 8-10

2 large beetroot (about 400g), trimmed, peeled and coarsely grated
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onions thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
150g smooth feta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150ml thickened cream
Extra thyme springs, to scatter
Fresh herbs, to serve

For the pastry
1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
100g chilled unsalted butter, chopped

To make the pastry, place flour, butter and a pinch salt in a food processor and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) chilled water, then process until the mixture comes together in a ball. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Lightly grease a 23 cm loose-bottomed tart pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 5mm thick, then use to line the tart pan. Chill for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights, then bake for 5 minutes or until dry and pale golden. Remove from oven and leave aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add onions and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until softened. Add beetroot, vinegar, thyme, brown sugar and 1 cup water, then cook for 12-15 minutes (stirring in between to prevent burning) until thickened and tender. Cool the mixture.

Spread beetroot mixture over the tart base, then crumble over feta cheese. Whisk egg and cream together, then pour into tart case. Scatter with extra thyme. Bake for 35 minutes or until set. Slice and serve with a leafy green salad.

Beetroot And Feta Tart