Summer is on its way. The days are getting warm and long. Slow cooking things in the oven and hot soups are falling off our radar but cool, sparkling drinks and homemade lemonade are coming to mind. I’ve even been thinking about cocktails a fair bit which is strange since I don’t usually like sweet drinks. I met a girlfriend today and our coffee date turned into a weather-induced juice and sparkling water date. Oh, bless these long, warm days.
This change of season thing is still fairly new to me. I lived the first 20 or so years of my life in Singapore where seasons varied from hot and wet to hot and dry. I think I’m getting the hang of it now, although I still think it’s crazy how the weather can vary so much in one geographical location. But in saying that, I must admit that Newcastle has relatively mild seasons.
After living in Newcastle for three years, I think the seasons represent a nostalgic reminder of the passing of time. I moved here in Summer where I was attacked by mosquitos, made my first friends and met Taylor for the first time. I started dating Taylor in Autumn, and crisp Autumn mornings make me go fuzzy on the insides. I’ve been through hard times in Winter, where I was kindly offered the comforts of warm socks and hot soup. But Spring, Spring is a cheeky one. It is exciting as we wait for the holidays, Summer and mangoes. But also scary, as we are forced to realise that yet another year has passed us by before we’ve even realised its begun.
Spring’s also exciting on the produce side of things, I love seeing things pop back up at the Farmers Market after their winter hiatus. I couldn’t help picking up a bunch of beautiful beets while we were at the Farmers Market last week as you would have seen if you watched my little Farmers Market Haul. I roasted the beets off that Sunday and thought a beet and goats cheese tart would be a perfect way to use them.
I wanted to make the tart pastry healthier than your usual pastries and I think I’ve done that to some success! It was easy to make and turned out amazingly. The tart was stunning. Caramelised onions, sweet chunks of beets, dotted with salty goats cheese. It’s not your usual rich quiche like tart but it’s lighter, fresher friend instead. It was great out of the oven with tomato relish and a salad but Taylor then proceeded to have it straight out of the fridge for afternoon tea, breakfast and lunch the next day. I suspect he might like it and I hope you do too. 😉
- 190g wholewheat flour
- 60g oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (use other herbs if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or your preferred oil)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 large onions (450g)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 eggs
- 125g ricotta
- 75ml milk
- 2 large roasted beets (500g)- diced into small pieces
- 150g goats cheese
- 1 spring of fresh thyme (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Blend oats to form a flour
- Combine with other ingredients
- Wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Roll and press into a greased 10 inch tart case
- Bake blind* for 15 minutes
- Bake uncovered for 10 minutes so total cooking time is 25 minutes
- Caramelise onions by placing olive oil into a pan on low heat and adding onions
- Cook for 15-20 minutes until onions are soft have started to brown
- Add honey and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 10 minutes or until onions are caramalised
- Combine milk, ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper and thyme in a bowl
- Add caramalised onions and diced beets to the empty tart crust
- Pour in egg mixture
- Crumble goats cheese over the top
- Bake for 30 minutes in the 180 degrees celsius pre-heated oven
- Garnish with more thyme if you wish
- Serve with a side salad
- *Refer to the pictures: place a sheet of baking paper on top of crust and use chickpeas to weigh the crust down in the first bake. This prevents the crust from rising which will stop you from being able to fill it.