Tuesday, 8 December 2015

beetroot tarte tatin with goats cheese & caramelised orange & mint chermoula

check out my recipe featured in The Guardian Readers Recipes on 2 January

beetroot tarte tatin with goats cheese & caramelised orange & mint chermoula
beetroot tarte tatin with goats cheese & caramelised orange & mint chermoula
beetroot, tarte tatin, festive food, recipes, polish food, goats cheese, chermoula, spices, vegetarian, mint, caramelised orange, food blogger, recipe of the day,red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, orange, chilli, puff pastry, vegetarian christmas, christmas food, North African food, spicy,
caramelised orange 
I have always been a fan of beetroot.  I love the stuff, and since my early years the vivid purple vegetable has been a regular part of my diet.  From the Polish classic beetroot soup Barszcz to the spicy beetroot and horseradish paste, chrzan that accompanied many meals, it was never far away.  My love of beetroot also led me to recently discover that beetroot juice makes a rather good Barszcz Bloody Mary too - one of my new favourite festive cocktails, with a shot of vodka, dill and gherkin pickle juice.  

In my beetroot tarte tatin the beetroot is caramelised with sugar and vinegar, to bring out their natural, earthy sweetness. The creamy goats cheese, added after the tatin is baked, makes a perfect addition. 
The zingy caramelised orange and mint chermoula contrasts well with the beetroot. The version I made had quite a kick from the chilli, but feel free to leave this out or adapt it to your own taste.  Chermoula is a spicy, pungent sauce, often used in North African cuisine. It's packed with fresh herbs and often flavoured with citrus/preserved lemons, chilli, garlic and cumin. In my version I caramelise the orange before juicing it to add a bitter, deep sweetness to the sauce. 

Any leftovers of the caramelised orange and mint chermoula can be used as a marinade for meat or fish, or as a seasoning for stews and soups.  

A delicious vegetarian dish - quick and easy to prepare, and impressive enough to be served as part of a festive meal. I hope you enjoy.  Bon appetit! 

preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
serves: 4

1 sheet puff pastry 
500g beetroot 
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter 
salt & pepper 
75g goats cheese

caramelised orange & mint chermoula:
1 orange
2 cloves garlic 
1 small bunch mint
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 fresh chilli 


to make the caramelised orange and mint chermoula, heat a frying pan before adding a halved orange - flesh side down. Fry for a few minutes until it starts to caramelise. Remove from the heat.

add the juice from the orange and all the other ingredients to a food processor and whizz up until well blended.

preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6, peel and chop the beetroot into quarters/eighths depending on how large the beetroot are. 

add the butter, vinegar and sugar to an 8 inch oven proof frying pan/baking tin followed by the chopped beetroot, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 minutes - or until the beetroot is starting to soften.

remove the beetroots from the oven, arrange and pack the beetroot as neatly as possible in the pan before covering with a 9 inch circle of pastry, tucking it into the sides of the pan.

return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes - or until the pastry is golden. 

remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. 

crumble the goats cheese and sprinkle a few tablespoons of the chermoula over the tatin. 

serve at room temperature. 

cooks hints and tips:

you can make this with precooked beetroot (but not the pickled kind) to save time. Just roast the beetroot for a few minutes with the butter, vinegar and sugar to allow it to start caramelising before adding the pastry and continuing. 

make smaller versions of the beetroot tatin as a festive starter or as part of a buffet meal.  

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