This is just a quick and simple canape or starter dish. While beetroot and goats cheese are the more traditional combination, the stronger saltiness of feta combines very nicely with the sweetness of the beetroot. The feta needs to be marinated a day or two in advance, in the fridge, however you should take it out an hour or two before using as the olive oil becomes slightly jellylike in the fridge. If you don’t have the time or inclination to roast beetroot, you can just buy the ready cooked vacuum packed stuff, cube it and pan fry it instead. I made this using bought shortcrust pastry, as I hadn’t attempted baking a tart in my terrible oven before, and didn’t want to find I’d wasted the time and effort of making my own if it didn’t work (especially as I was baking it in a muffin tray). I am told there are good brands of readymade pastry out there, but the one I used turned out to not be one of them, so I would suggest making your own (unless someone can recommend a good one?).
- 100g feta, crumbled
- Peel of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
- 3 whole raw beetroot
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon pinenuts
- Olive oil
- 1 pack shortcrust pastry
- To marinate the feta, store in a jar or sealable container, top up with olive oil until covered, and mix in the lemon peel and fennel.
- Leave in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Roast the beetroot in a little olive oil at 200c until soft and slightly golden tinged on the outside, about 30-40 minutes.
- Leave to cool, and chop into small cubes.
- Cut the pastry into 12 discs (this will use most of a 375g pack) of pastry using a cutter or the rim of a large glass and bake blind as directed on pack using olive oil greased tartlet cases or a muffin tin.
- Mix the beetroot cubes with the feta and some of the fennel seeds and season well.
- Once the cooked pastry has cooled, top with the beetroot and feta mixture, and garnish with chopped dill and pinenuts.