Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg is our Top Pick in Cookbooks for July, and as Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt writes, it "is big, beautiful and so bountiful that it’s not going to encourage moderation."

So here's to gorging ourselves on veggies!

Baby beet tarte tatin


Baby beet tarte tatin


Serves 4

  • 8 ounces / 250g rough puff pastry (see page 52) or all-butter puff pastry (ready-made)

  • A knob of butter

  • 1 tablespoon canola ?or olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 10 to 14 ounces / 300 to 400g baby beets (the size of a golf ball or no bigger than a small apple), scrubbed and halved


FOR THE VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 or 2 shallots or 3 or 4 green onions, trimmed and very finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon English mustard

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup / 60ml canola oil

  • A pinch of sugar

  • A handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch / 5mm. Take an ovenproof frying pan (or a tarte tatin dish) roughly 8 inches / 20cm ?in diameter, place it upside down on the pastry, and cut around it. Wrap the pastry disk and place it in the fridge.

Melt the butter with the oil in the frying pan (or tarte tatin dish). Add the cider vinegar, sugar, and some salt and pepper, stir well, then ?add the halved beets and toss to coat. You want the beets to fill the pan snugly, so add a few more if you need to. Cover the pan with foil, transfer to the oven, and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beets are tender.

Take the pan from the oven and rearrange the beet halves neatly, placing them cut side up. Lay the pastry disk over the beets, patting it down and tucking in the edges down the side of the pan. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is fully puffed up and golden brown.

rivercottagevegLeave the tarte to cool in its pan for about 15 minutes, then turn it out by putting a plate over the top and inverting it. Pour any juices left in the pan back over the beets.

Put the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a screw-topped jar, season well with salt and pepper, and shake to combine. Trickle over the tarte tatin and serve.

Reprinted with permission from River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Copyright © 2013 by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Read our review of this book.

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