Forget the nut roast this Christmas and serve these vibrantly-coloured puff pastry tartlets. Topped with beetroot and goat’s cheese puree and sweet roasted carrots, they are a perfect vegetarian showstopper main course. Especially as they can be prepped ahead and assembled just before serving. You can also make this as one large tart.
Tis the season to try new recipes!
We tend to make the same foods every year for Christmas. And there is nothing at all wrong with that. Christmas is the perfect time to honour the recipes of our forebears, maybe giving them a modern or healthier tweak.
I cook for a small but discerning crowd, and some things are just expected: bread sauce, chestnut stuffing (the kind that is really a gravy – my mother-in-law is pro at it), polenta-crusted roast potatoes, orange-spiked cranberry sauce (or this pomegranate and cranberry salsa); always Brussels sprouts in some fashion or other. Like these, or these.
But every year I try and feature a new recipe on my festive table. Often it is a twist on cornbread stuffing (honouring my southern USA roots), or some new way with roasted veggies. I’m still deciding what this year’s twist will be. Maybe you are too.
One thing we will have over the festive season – perhaps on Christmas Eve – is this Roasted Rainbow Carrot Tartlet with Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese. It can be made as a large tart that will attract vegetarians, meat-eaters and fussy kids alike. Or, as I’ve done here, prepared as individual tartlets. Made with all organic and seasonal ingredients (is puff pastry seasonal?), I’m being true to my name.
Food To Glow, not Kellie. 🙂As a cancer health educator and someone who grows organic produce in my back garden, I already value the ethos of organic food production and its potential impact on health. Even if I can’t “see” a difference, just the idea that my family and I are eating foods that are grown without pesticides or non-organic fertilisers (a seaweed tonic suffices) makes me happy.
That’s one reason I am so pleased to have been asked by the Organic Trade Board (OTB) to share my favourite homemade organic recipe on their website as part of their #FeedYourHappy campaign.
In the UK, buying organic means:
* no artificial additives or preservatives
* always free range
* the highest standards of animal welfare
* no routine use of antibiotics (antibiotics are used in conventional farming as de facto growth hormones, for plumper animals)
* no GM ingredients
Happily, the decreased cost and increased availability of organically produced food have made it more achievable for the average person to at least be able to put some organic foods in their weekly shopping basket. Christmas is the perfect time to try a few more.
And the Soil Association have made it even easier to shop organic this Christmas with their Organic Christmas Market, where you can search for organic suppliers and producers local to your area. Isn’t this a great idea?
My recipe (this one!) is here. I’m in very salubrious company, too: Sara Cox, Rosie Birkett, Gill Meller, Anna Jones, and Chetna Makan. Oooohh!
So, I’m just wondering, what festive food makes YOU happy?
Roasted Rainbow Carrot Tartlets with Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Puree
Forget the nut roast this Christmas and serve these vibrantly-coloured puff pastry tartlets. Topped with beetroot and goat’s cheese puree and sweet roasted carrots, they are a perfect vegetarian showstopper main course. Especially as they can be prepped ahead and assembled just before serving. You can also make this as one large tart. xx
200g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed (rainbow, if possible)
300g beetroot, scrubbed (or use pre-cooked beetroot)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coarse salt, optional (this helps draw out moisture from the beetroot)
150g soft goat’s cheese (can use vegan ricotta, with added lemon juice or extra zest)
Zest of half a lemon
1 package ready-rolled puff pastry (easy to get this vegan)
2 tbsp milk OR small egg, lightly beaten (plant milk is fine; it’s what I used)
75g hazelnuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
Mustard seeds from the bottom of a pickle jar, optional zingy garnish
Heat the oven to 200C. Toss the carrots in half of the oil and lay on a baking tray. Lay the beetroots on a large sheet of foil, rub with the remaining oil, cover in the salt and wrap loosely; lay on a tray. Roast the beetroot for one hour and the carrots for half an hour. Keep the oven on.
Cut the puff pastry sheet into 3-4 rectangles or circles. Lightly score a 1 cm margin around the edge. Lightly prick the centre with a fork. Place each piece on a baking sheet and bake until pale golden and crisp – about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and lightly press down the puffed centre. Cool on a baking rack.
When beets are cool, rub off the skin and chop the beetroot. Add the beetroot to a blender or food processor, along with the goat’s cheese and blend until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest and 50g of hazelnuts. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour to thicken.
To assemble, spread the pastry bases with the beetroot mixture – you may have a little bit left so consider it a cook’s perk. Cut the carrots in half vertically and lay on the beetroot, either in rows or overlapping randomly. Sprinkle over with the thyme leaves, remaining hazelnuts and pickled mustard seeds, if using. Serve with a lemon wedge or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
This post is not sponsored by the #FeedYourHappy campaign, but I was paid to share the recipe on their website and promote the campaign on my social media channels.
PS Two friends and fellow food writers have also created recipes for the campaign. Why not see what they will be serving their family over the holiday? Janey at Hedgecombers has made a beautiful and mega-easy Brussels sprouts dish, while Jemma at Celery and Cupcakes created harissa spiced vegetable rice.
RIPE FOR PINNING!