Christmas dinner is about great tasting food that is elegant and a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
This is a simple to prepare main that looks impressive for all your guests, not just the vegans! Beetroot is beautifully in season and is a low cost ingredient to use, without sacrificing flavour.
Serve with plenty of herby roasted vegetables for a striking Christmas main.
For the pastry:
250g plain flour and 2 tbsp for rolling
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp good quality olive oil
50ml cold water
For the filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
6 shallots, peeled and sliced finely
2 baby leeks, sliced finely
1 tsp dried chopped thyme
300g cooked beetroot (aprox 4-5), sliced finely and evenly
For the walut pesto:
30g sliced almonds
20g walnut pieces
30g bunch of fresh basil
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Juice and zest of half an unwaxed lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1. Start by making the pastry. Add the flour and salt to a bowl and spoon in the olive oil. Work in the olive oil using a fork until you create a breadcrumb texture. Slowly pour in the water and bring together into a pastry dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest the pastry.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ Gas mark 6
3. Add the olive oil, shallots and baby leeks to a pan and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned. Stir through the thyme and set aside.
4. Arrange the beetroot in a baking tray, overlapping each slice to create a flower pattern; try not to leave any gaps. Spoon over the shallot mix and flatten.
5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out finely on a floured surface. Cut the shape of the baking tray and place the pastry sheet over the vegetables, tucking in the corners gently.
6. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is just golden. Allow the tarte to cool slightly before turning onto a plate.
7. To make the pesto, place all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until semi smooth. Place teaspoon sized amounts of the pesto to each slice of the tarte tatin.