Beetroot, Feta & Fennel Tart (National Vegetarian Week)

It’s National Vegetarian Week!

With knowledge of the environment, sustainability and animal welfare growing, so is the movement of vegetarianism. From ‘Flexitarian’ to Vegan, the popularity of cutting down on our meat intake is on the up. Studies have shown from a health perspective, that removing meat (especially red meat) from out diets for even just one day a week can have huge benefits to the body; reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes etc and not to mention it’s less of a pull on the old purse strings too. This idea has been christened Meatless Monday (NB no rules will be broken for changing this for a Tuesday. Or even a Thursday. Go mad.)

For each day of National Vegetarian Week I’ll be posting my favourite vegetarian recipes, so why not give them all a try.

Beetroot, Feta and Fennel Tart

Now I must admit, fennel and feta are two of my least favourite ingredients. I actually actively dislike both of them. However this tart is absolutely delicious, somehow it just works.

  • 400g shortcrust pastry (either homemade or shopbought)
  • 250g pack of beetroot
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 100ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh dill
  • 50g walnuts (to serve)
  • haldful of rocket (to serve)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and line a loose bottom fluted tart/pie tin. Prick all over with a fork and rest in the fridge.

Halve the fennel and remove the tough core (triangle near the base). Thinly slice and heat in a pan with the olive oil over a gentle heat. After a few minutes add the balsamic vinegar. When softened, take off the heat and set aside.

In a bowl/jug whisk together the creme fraiche, milk, eggs and a teaspoon of salt and pepper, until combined.

Thinly slice the beetroot (wear gloves to avoid the purple staining on your hands, or wash immediately). Place them over the pastry base, top with the balsamic fennel and crumble over the feta cheese. Scatter over the chopped dill, and pour in the egg mix until it reaches the top of the pastry (you may have more than you need). For an even more luxurious tart, grate some parmesan over the top before baking.

Place in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 45 minutes or until dark golden on top. Allow to stand out of the over for 5-7 minutes before portioning. Scatter the walnuts and rocket over the top to serve. Enjoy!

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