Maybe you've noticed that despite being a blog about cooking and crafting, I've not written much about cooking recently. In fact the blog's becoming all Paper and no Onions.
I think that's because I'm so bad at food photography. It takes me so long to produce a half-decent photo that food has gone cold and spoiled, or we've got too hungry and eaten it, before I have anything worth sharing. However, I made this dish using home grown beetroot, which meant that my husband also wanted to write about it over at Mark's Veg Plot. So he was taking photos anyway which meant I could scrounge some!
We never watch reality shows, which leaves us with very little to watch on TV at weekends. We usually end up channel hopping to find a decent cookery show or leaving the TV off completely. So last weekend I flicked the remote until I landed on a rerun of one of Hugh Fearney-Whittingstall's River Cottage programmes.
We've watched them all many times before, and have all the accompanying recipe books (Note to family - his latest book "Three Ingredients is top of my current wishlist). The two books "Everyday" and "Veg Everyday" are my most well-thumbed books of recent years, with several dished from them having become firm favourites.
But as we watched this particular programme, one dish we'd never noticed before caught our attention - Beetroot Tarte Tatin. Mark had just harvested a huge crop of tiny beetroot and there was half a pack of ready made (low fat, alas, I'm on a permanent diet) puff pastry in the fridge. So I was delighted to thumb through Veg Everyday and find the recipe on page 48, and even more delighted that I had all the ingredients to hand.
The beetroot is put into a small frying pan with oil, butter, sugar (as I'm diabetic, I substituted agave nectar) and vinegar. Hugh uses cider vinegar but I didn't have any so I used balsamic instead. With hindsight, maybe a splash of the damson vinegar that's hanging round the back of the cupboard would have worked really well in this. Tightly covered in foil, it goes in the oven until the beetroot is cooked.
A bit of careful-ish rearranging of the beetroot is needed (at this point I wished I'd used a few more as they shrank a bit during cooking) then the pan is topped with the puff pastry and put back in the oven to cook. The cooked tatin is inverted onto a plate and served with a vinagrette made with shallots and parsley. Again, I replaced the cider vinegar with balsamic and it made a delicious dressing.
It would have made a lovely starter, especially topped with feta cheese as suggested in the book, but we had it as a side dish with some good pork sausages, potatoes and runner beans fresh from the garden
A delicious dish we'll definitely be repeating - and I think my version looks every bit as tasty as the one in the book