Prep time:

Cooking time: 1 hour

Total time:

Serves: 8

Oil or butter, for greasing

1 quantity chilled shortcrust pastry

flour, for dusting

beet tops (greens) from 8 plants, rinsed and chopped

175g feta cheese, diced or crumbled

300ml crème fraîche

3 eggs

100ml milk

salt and pepper

Beetroot tops are often ready in the spring before the spinach and chard, which is what gave me the inspiration for this tart. They have a nutty, earthy flavour and are also good eaten on their own as a steamed or boiled vegetable. I love this tart so much that I cook and freeze the leaves for use all year.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4, placing an oven rack in the lower part of it. Grease a 30-cm/12-inch loose-bottom tart pan. Roll out the pastry (dough) on a lightly floured work surface until it is large enough to line your tart pan.
  2. Put the beet tops (greens) into a pan with just the water that clings to them after washing. Cover with a lid, cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until wilted. Let cool, then drain and spread over the bottom of the pastry case (shell). Sprinkle with the feta.
  3. Put the crème fraîche, eggs and milk into a bowl and beat together. Pour this mixture into the pastry case and season with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40–45 minutes until just set.
  4. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully slip off the outer ring, leaving the tart sitting on the base.
  5. Return to the oven on the baking sheet for another 5–10 minutes so that the sides get really crisp.

The Great Dixter Cookbook is published by Phaidon £24.95. Wealden Times readers can buy it with a 30% discount and free UK shipping, using the code DX30 at phaidon.com/dixter offer open until 25 June 2018.

Aaron Bertelsen is appearing at The Garden Hub at the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair.

  • words:
  • pictures: Andrew Montgomery

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