Garden Beetroot and Roscoff Onion Tart

Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc.

Working in the gardens of Kew, having sown our seed in the rich soil, we tended the young plants with sunlight and water. We took these plants to perfect maturity, and as a chef you cannot ask for more. In this delicious starter the beetroot is cooked from raw, rather than being blanched first, which concentrates its wonderful earthy flavour. To ensure the success of this dish it is crucial to cover the beetroot with the circle of paper secured by a ring in order to keep all the moisture and the flavour.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus chilling.

Special equipment: 2 x 12cm ovenproof blini pans; 2 x 11cm metal rings.

Beettatin MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the pastry base
300g Ready-rolled puff pastry, chilled then rolled to 3mm
For the beetroot
300g Golden or Chioggia beetroot, scrubbed clean
1 pinch Sea salt
2 pinches Black pepper
20g Unsalted butter, warm
200g Rose de Roscoff onion (about 1), sliced pinch sea salt
1 pinch Black pepper
10ml Jerez vinegar
To build the tarts
1 Egg yolk, beaten with 2 tsp water for an egg wash
1 pinch Black pepper
1 tsp Orange and thyme dried powder (optional; orange zest and thyme dried in the oven at 100ºC/Gas Mark ¼ for 1 hour, then blitzed to a powder)
For the Jerez vinaigrette
4 tsp Jerez vinegar, boiled for 30 seconds
40ml Good-quality olive oil
1 pinch Sea salt
1 pinch Black pepper
To serve
150g Mixed salad leaves
60g Cottage cheese

Cooking Method

For the pastry base

Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Cut the pastry into two 13cm discs using a ring or small plate and place on the lined baking sheet. Transfer to the fridge, or ideally the freezer, for at least 1 hour, to prevent the pastry being sticky. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

To prepare the beetroot

Cut the root off each one. Using a mandolin set to a thickness of 1mm, slice into thin discs and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the warm butter to ensure each slice of beetroot is evenly coated.

To cook the beetroot

Place a 9cm metal ring in a 12cm blini pan. Layer the seasoned beetroot discs inside the ring in an even rosace pattern three layers deep. The metal ring will facilitate the building of the beetroot and keep it upright and in a perfect circle. Repeat this with the other blini pan and metal ring. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper to the same size as the blini pan. Lift the metal ring off the beetroot and lay the greaseproof paper on top of the beetroot rosace, then press the ring back over the rosace. By placing the ring over the paper you will trap the steam trying to escape, which will keep the beetroot beautifully moist. Cook the beetroot rosaces on a medium heat for 2 minutes, until the sides start to bubble. Some juices from the beetroot will boil in the pan – this is important as it speeds up the cooking of the beetroot in the oven and gives a nice light caramelisation to the beetroot. Transfer the beetroot to the oven for 10–12 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to rest and cool completely. Lift off the rings and greaseproof paper from the cooled beetroot rosaces and turn them out on to a small plate (the coloured side, with its golden rosace pattern will be facing upwards). Set aside.

For the onion jam

In a medium saucepan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion with the salt and pepper. Cook for 35–40 minutes, covered with a lid, until softened but not caramelised. Stir every 5 minutes to prevent the onions from burning. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, scraping any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon, and boil for 20 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Leave to cool completely.

To build and cook the beetroot tarts

Divide the onion jam equally between the two pastry discs and with the back of a spoon spread the onions to a thin layer leaving a gap of 1cm around the edge . Lightly brush the pastry edges with a thin coating of egg wash and sprinkle them with the black pepper and powdered orange and thyme, if using. Using a palette knife, lift each golden rosace right into the centre of each pastry base. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over each of the tarts and place a cooling rack on top of them. Transfer to the oven for 20 minutes, until the sides of the pastry are golden brown. The parchment paper and cooling rack on the tarts help keep the moisture in the beetroot; it will also ensure the pastry rises evenly and the beetroot slices do not curl whilst cooking.

Make the Jerez vinaigrette

Mix all the ingredients, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

To serve

Dress the leaves with half the vinaigrette and arrange on each plate. Scatter the cottage cheese over the salad. Brush the remaining vinaigrette over the beetroot tarts to give flavour and a beautiful glaze and serve on each plate.


Kew Book 120THUMB

Recipe from Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc, published by Headline Ltd.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2015.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.