When I think of winter in a cold Victorian garden, one vegetable springs to mind above all else – beetroots. I couldn’t be more excited at the thought of growing this incredible vegetable as they are so versatile in the kitchen. The earthy, sweet and rich flavour of beets bring sooo much to a dish whether it’s sweet or savoury. This recipe’s a classic pairing of beetroot, cheeses (3 to be exact, because who doesn’t love cheese), and walnuts, but if you want to experiment going down a sweet path then think pairings such as chocolate, berries, and nuts to accentuate the earthy flavour.
Heirloom Beetroot Tart with Blue Cheese Pastry
My second recipe in the Pod-To-Plate series is an heirloom beetroot tart with blue cheese pastry. I’ve been eagerly waiting to cook this ever since I planted the beetroot seedlings. Winter can often be a problem down here on the south coast of Victoria with volatile winds, heavy rain and frost often inhibiting and damaging growth but the large Vegepod was a lifesaver against the elements and allowed me to harvest these within 14 weeks of planting. I stuck with the standard Vegepod cover due to a good run of sunshine in the early stages of winter, but if you’re in a cold climate then I’d recommended to invest in a winter cover for your Vegepod protect against cold, frost, and snow, whilst also acting as a greenhouse to increase growth and propagation rates throughout the colder months.
I used a mix of heirloom beets in this recipe, as I love the vibrant colours and sweet earthiness they bring to the tart. I’ve also paired them with some beautiful radishes that have been one of my favourite finds in recent months – they grow from seed to harvest in about 30 days in Vegepod, and bring unbelievable texture and peppery flavour to any dish or side salad.
Rest assured though, you don’t need heirloom varieties as there’s plenty of wriggle room in this recipe which is why I love it. Don’t have heirloom beetroots? Regular beets work just fine. Don’t like blue cheese? Use sour cream in your pastry instead. No time to make your own pastry? Use store-bought. The modifications are endless so there’s no excuses.