It’s early Monday morning as I write this and I’ve suddenly realised it’s been much too long since my last post. Where did all the time go? I know I’ve spent some of it writing, baking, photographing, but not much has stuck. One thing I know for sure is that it’s time to take things back to basics, stop over complicating all that I love about blogging, and just write…
So as light begins to fill my room, I’m feeling rather inspired. It looks to be a dreary day in Melbourne. It’s wet out and there’s a light fog hanging low in the sky. I don’t mind these kinds of days though. Days like today remind me how good the good days really are. A gentle reminder to take advantage of what each day presents. And how could I complain after the beautiful weather that has just passed.
All weekend we had blue skies and rays of sunshine falling upon us. Spring is definitely in the air, warming and delightful Spring, and I’ll be sure not to waste a minute of it. I love how things just seem easier as the days gets warmer. Simple things like getting out of my warm bed in the morning is that much easier when the sun is streaming through gaps in my blinds. Even if I do nothing for a whole day, a few moments basking in the sunshine is enough to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
My weekend was nothing short of that. I did not much at all but felt somewhat accomplished nonetheless. I could have written more, I could have planned more, cooked and cleaned more, but I’m content that I didn’t. After all, time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted. I enjoyed a slow Saturday morning with perfect company and a fresh stack of steaming espresso pancakes. I indulged in some of the best Sicilian gelato going around, and soaked in the sunshine. I had life ranting girlfriend catch ups over a few soy lattes. I went for a run, and for strolls in lovely green parks. Simple. Perfect.
And whilst speaking of perfect, here is a recipe perfect for your next Spring time picnic…
Balsamic Beetroot & Caramelised Fennel Tart with Brown Rice Crust
Brown Rice Crust
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 eggs
2 beetroots *
100g soft goats cheese
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fennel, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200°C and grease a 8-9-inch tart tray.
To make the crust: Rinse brown rice, then place in a small saucepan with salt, and cook according to instructions – I recommend 1 & 1/3 cup of water to ensure plump rice. Set aside and once completely cool, mix through half a beaten egg. Transfer rice to the tart tray and use your hands to press down evenly, covering the bottom and sides. Gently press a piece of baking paper on top of the rice and bake for 10 minutes.
To prepare the filling: While the rice is cooking, peel and slice beetroots into small wedges and place in an oven tray. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season well. Tightly cover tray with foil and bake for approximately 40 minutes until cooked through. Stir and check at intervals.
In a small fry pan heat a generous drizzle of olive oil on medium heat and fry fennel. Stir and cook until translucent, soft and browning at the edges. Set aside. Toast walnuts, either in the fry pan or on a piece of foil in the oven, for approximately 5 minutes.
Put the tart together by layering ingredients into the crust – roasted beetroot, caramelised fennel, toasted walnuts, pieces of goats cheese. Season well with salt and pepper as you layer then pour the whisked eggs over the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the egg sets. Place the tart under the grill for the last 5 minutes to speed up the process – just keep a close eye to not burn the top. Remove from oven and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
*Note: Beetroot is a medium-high FODMAP that is often tolerated in small amounts on the low FODMAP diet. If you find it troubles you, simply substitute the beetroot for sweet potato, otherwise enjoy it in moderation, about 1/2 a cup that is!