Back to beetroot, baby! These root vegetables are indeed versatile, as I wrote about in an earlier recipe for Wholefood Beetroot Brownies (check out the brownie recipe in the archives), lending themselves to sweet or savoury creations. Beetroot and their greens are also health giving- high in fiber, which helps with satiety and regularity; are excellent sources of folate, Vitamins A and K; they also have large amounts of manganese, copper and potassium. They support the body's detoxification process as well; the betalin compound which gives them their deep red hue assists in capturing and flushing nasty toxins via the urinary tract. Then, too, they were once considered to be the veggie of love- 'natures Viagra', widely employed as an aphrodisiac in Roman times.
All that from a humble root vegetable.
Another thing to love about beetroot is what a stunning and festive look they bring to the table. Perfect in fact for the holidays! Everyone celebrates a little differently, but often the one common theme is food, to be shared and enjoyed.
This beetroot and red onion balsamic tarte tatin is actually pretty simple, but the burgundy pastry looks and tastes beautiful alongside a variety of fresh salads and treats.
Tarte tatin is deceptive in that it looks and sounds a touch fancy and tastes luxurious with its golden flaky layers, yet is a cinch to make. The French tarte is usually a sweet treat with caramelised apples or pears as the showpiece, but I love to create savoury versions where root vegetables offer their own savoury sweet dinner touch. Hopefully it can play a part over the holidays for you, too.
1 sheet of homemade or store bought Puff Pastry
1 bunch of Beetroot
3 small Red Onions
500ml of Balsamic Vinegar
3 Sprigs Thyme
1 teaspoon Honey
pinch of Sea Salt
few turns of Black Peppercorn
1 teaspoon Butter or Coconut Oil
+ Feta, Tofu Feta or Creme Fraiche and Fresh Herbs, to serve
The How To:
Preheat your oven to 180°. Cut the beetroot from their stems (set the stems and greens aside to use in other dishes!). Roast beetroot, covered by a tray or aluminium foil, until tender but still able to hold their shape, around 25min. Once cooled sufficiently to handle without burning yourself, cut beetroot in halves.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, large enough to hold the tarte, cook the thyme and balsamic vinegar until it begins to caramelise, about 4min over medium heat. Add sliced red onion, salt, pepper, honey and butter or oil, cooking over low heat until the onions soften. Remove from heat and arrange beetroot circles, covering the bottom of the pan. Cut a round from the puff pastry, of a slightly larger size than the circumference of your pan. Take the puff pastry circle and nestle atop the beets, tucking it gently around the outer edges.
Return to the oven and bake for around 15min at 180*, or until the pastry has risen and is a rich golden colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two before turning it carefully over onto a plate or tray. Scatter feta or creme and fresh herbs over the tarte before serving.
-Most people turn to store bought puff pastry, and there are now both vegan and butter options available. If you have the time and inclination to advance your culinary skills and make your own, by all means do so- it's delicious and satisfying. I make mine with a mix of spelt and rye flours, and try to keep some on hand in the freezer.
Recipe created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes & Wholefoods