Beetroot and Feta Quiche

The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest (as I far too often find myself doing!) and came across a lot of beetroot tart recipes. They all looked so beautiful and colourful because of the red beets, and I was itching to try one myself.  I love anything that uses seasonal vegetables, so this seemed like the perfect summer recipe to make the most of these earthy purple root vegetables.  I drew my inspiration from this particular recipe, but have tweaked it a bit to my taste.  IMG_0831 To make one large Quiche, you will need:

– 150g wholemeal flour

– 150g plain white flour

– 150g butter (chilled and cut into small cubes)

– 1 large red onion

– 400g beetroot, peeled and grated

– 150g feta cheese

– A handful of thyme leaves

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 1 tbsp soft brown sugar

– 2 large eggs

– 150ml double cream

Pre- heat your oven to 180 degrees, and start by making your pastry. Put both flours into a bowl with the butter and rub between your fingers until it resembles fine bread crumbs. At this point, add a little cold water, enough for you to be able to bring it together into a soft dough.  Make sure you add the water a little at a time – too little and it’s dry and difficult to roll, too much and you end up with a soggy mess, so go carefully!  Form into a ball, cover in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour.  IMG_0860 Once chilled, lift the pastry out and it is now ready to roll. Lightly flour your surface so that the pastry doesn’t stick, and roll your ball of dough until it is roughly 1/2 cm thick.  IMG_0859Carefully lift the rolled pastry into a grease lined dish, lightly shifting it into all of the corners, and leaving it to hang over the edges.  Cut off the excess pastry with a sharp knife, but not too close to the dish because it will shrink slightly once baked, so allow an extra centimetre or so for this. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans, or dried rice if you don’t have any.  You just need something fairly heavy to weigh it down, so have a dig through your cupboards and see what’s there.  IMG_0863 This is now ready to blind bake. Place into the oven for 10 minutes, then lift out and remove the parchment and baking beans, and bake for a further 5 minutes.  It should now have gone a very light golden colour, so lift out and leave on the side whilst you make the filling. IMG_0866 Start by putting the red onion, salt and a splash of olive oil into a pan, and gently fry on a low heat for about 10 minutes to slowly caramelise.  Next add the grated beetroot, balsamic vinegar, sugar, thyme and a cup of water and leave on a low heat for a further 15 minutes.  Keep stirring it so that it doesn’t stick to the pan, and the beetroot will gently cook until tender, absorbing all of the lovely juices.  IMG_0879All that’s left to do is fill the pastry case. Spoon in the beetroot and onion mixture and crumble over the feta. IMG_0884 Lightly whisk together the eggs and cream, season, and pour evenly into the pastry case. Get a fork and pull some of the beetroot to the top and through the egg mixture, so it’s not all sitting at the bottom.  IMG_0887 Pop into the over for 35- 40 minutes, until the egg mix is set and doesn’t wobble when you move it.  IMG_0970Top with a few more herbs and it’s ready to serve! IMG_0981IMG_0985It also happens to go very well with a cold glass of fizz…
IMG_0996IMG_0998Cut into generous slices… you can serve it with a salad if you like, but it’s tasty on its own too.
IMG_1001IMG_1002IMG_1006The colours from the beetroot and the herbs are so beautiful, it’s almost too pretty to eat!

This is a really simple and flavoursome meal to put together.  The mild and earthy beetroot goes brilliantly with the sharpness of the feta, and the nutty pastry case and fragrant herbs give it so many different levels of flavour.  It keeps for a few days in the fridge and is equally nice chilled, so you can eat it for lunch the next day if you have any left! I love vegetarian recipes (I very rarely cook meat for myself) and this one is one of the nicest I’ve tried in a long time.

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