Tuesday, 13 August 2013


I am thrilled with my beetroot harvest this year!
Previous years have not been so good....I like to blame the weather, which may have much to do with it, as they are so slow to germinate when it is too wet.....but really I think the success this year has been down to lots of fantastic garden compost. My husband has enthusiastically created what we affectionately call his 'Compost City' at the bottom of the paddock, an impressive array of huge compost bins made out of old delivery pallets.  The hard work has paid off, and our flower and vegetable beds are thankful for it.

Beetroot is one of my favourite things to grow and eat.....whether simply boiled and served with a dollop of creme fraiche and grated lemon zest, pickled to enjoy over the Autumn and Winter, or my new favourite which is to roast the cut the beets in to chunks and roast in foil with some olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar....creating a yummy caramelised sweetness to them.  This year I have grown both purple 'Boltardy' and a beautiful golden variety which is deliciously sweet.  At the weekend I was pleased to try a new recipe, from Sarah Raven's 'Food for Friends and Family' cookbook.......a Beetroot Tart, served with a horseradish cream, which was simply delicious!  

                  If you love Beetroot, I would definitely                                     recommend that you try this lovely recipe!

Photos: Sophia Home


For 8
4 medium sized beetroot (I used 400g red and 400g golden)
2 large onions, finely chopped
30g butter
Splash of olive oil
A few springs of thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 eggs
150ml double cream
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and black pepper
3 or 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked, to decorate

For the pastry:
200g plain flour
A few springs of thyme, leaves finely chopped
Pinch of salt
100g butter

For the horseradish cream:
Grated horseradish (or good quality creamed horseradish)
Double cream or creme fraiche
A little mustard powder
Pinch of white pepper
Lemon juice, to taste

First make the pastry.  Sift the flour into a bowl and add the thyme and salt.  Rub the butter into the flour, or pulse in a food processor, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add just enough chilled water for it to bind together as a dough.  Roll into a ball and wrap in cling film.  Chill for an hour.
Meanwhile, boil the beetroot in salted water for at least 45 minutes, until soft.  Drain and allow to cool a little, then peel.
Grate the beetroot on the coarse blade of a grater (keeping the two colours separate if you have them).
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and heat a baking sheet until searing hot.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to the thickness of 3-4mm and use to line a 30cm loose-bottomed tart tin, leaving the excess draped over the sides in case it shrinks.
Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, line with greaseproof paper or foil and weigh this down with baking beans or rice.  Place on the hot baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the baking beans and paper and cook the case for another 5 minutes to crisp the base a little.  Take out of the oven and trip off the excess pastry.  Keep the oven on and reheat the baking sheet.
Gently fry the onion in a pan with the butter and oil until translucent.  Add the chopped thyme leaves and grated beetroot (if you have two colours, divide the onions and cook in separate pans).  Add the vinegar and sugar and continue to cook gently for about 15 minutes, to reduce and make the mixture syrupy.  Fill the pastry case with the beetroot mixture doing segments in different colours if you have them.
Whisk the eggs, cream and nutmeg, and season.  Place the tart tin on the hot baking sheet in the oven, then pour in as much of the egg mixture as will fit easily over the beetroot.  Scatter thyme leaves over the top, then bake for 35 minutes until the top in starting to brown.
While the tart is cooking, peel and grate the horseradish or add this or creamed horseradish to the cream or creme fraiche, a little mustard powder, white pepper and salt, and lemon juice to taste.



Hope you're having a happy week?

Sophia xx


  1. The first picture of your beetroots is lovely, and worthy of a frame.
    We also have a huge compost area which my husband lovingly cares for - I think they are a man-thing.
    Beetroot is generally rather underrated, but a vegetable that we really enjoy. The combination of horseradish and beetroot sounds very good.

    1. Hello Rosemary,

      Yes, I think you're right, composts are very much a 'man thing'! The horseradish and beetroot combination is definitely worth trying, tastes wonderful.

      Sophia x