Anyone who read last Friday’s post will remember that I was in a grumpy, sorry-for-myself pizza-eating mood. It was therefore pizza that sprang to mind when I received some stunning yellow beetroot in my weekly veg box. Not only is it as pretty as sunshine it also has the advantage of not turning you into Lady Macbeth when you try and peel it or of causing alarm when you go to the toilet the next day (ah, come on, we’ve all done it). This photo doesn’t do it justice but here it is anyway with its traditional cousin.
I’d been ruminating on what to make with my next batch of home-made cheese and so beetroot and ricotta pizza seemed like a great idea. But then I thought: ‘Oh heck, those other food bloggers will expect me to be all fancy-dan and make the pizza base and I just don’t have the energy.’ So I cheated and used ready-made puff pastry. Hence why it turned into a tart rather than a pizza. But it tasted nice anyway.
1 litre full-fat milk
1 lemon (with another on standby)
500g ready-made puff pastry
2 medium red onions, sliced and fried until nice and jammy
A handful of pine nuts, toasted
2 large beetroots, boiled and then peeled and sliced
1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
One big dollop of rocket
First of all, it was time to make the ricotta (cheese-pedants will note that this isn’t proper ricotta which is actually made from the leftover whey but it’s kind of similar). One litre of milk went into a saucepan and I gently heated it until it started to boil (careful it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan). Add the juice of one lemon, remove the pan from the heat, give it a good stir and the curds should separate from the whey. If it doesn’t happen, whack in some more lemon juice.
Spoon the curds into a sieve lined with a muslin or teatowel and leave to drain until you have the consistency of curds you want. Lovely cheese here:
Preheat the oven to 220˚C / 200˚C fan-assisted / Gas Mark 7.
Remove the pastry from the packet and unroll it onto a baking tray. Score a line about 2cm from the edges, all around the pastry. This will make the edges puff up nicely.
Spread the onions over the base, arrange the beetroot slices over the top and sprinkle with the ricotta, pine nuts and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is risen and crispy. Strew rocket over the top and serve with a dressed green salad.
Because this recipe uses home-made fresh cheese, I am sharing it with this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge.
And because I’ve used rosemary, I am also adding it to this month’s Cooking With Herbs, hosted by Lavender and Lovage.