Did you know that the ranunculus symbolises charm? If you give someone a bunch of ranunculus, you’re actually saying: I find you attractive. This flower is known as a flirt, and inspires delightful dishes that will give you butterflies in your tummy. Be inspired by ranunculus’ rich range of colours and serve these vegetarian filo tarts made with chioggia beets and cardamom and aniseed caramel with a come hither smile.
You will need (serves 4)
4 medium-sized chioggia beets
8 large sheets of filo pastry
50g melted butter
4 cardamom seeds
2 tsp aniseeds
6 tbsp fine sugar
Zest of 1/2 (organic) orange
1 tub of mascarpone
1-2 tbsp (cold) beet juice from a carton or bottle
4 low ovenproof moulds 8-10 cm lined on the bottom with baking parchment
How to make it
Steam or boil the beets for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked. Lay 1 sheet of file pastry on your worktop (store the other sheets under a tea towel) and brush on some molten butter. Place another 1 file sheet on top, and brush again. Repeat this with another 2 sheets so that you have 4 stacked sheets. Now make another 4 sheet stack of filo pastry brushed with butter.
Cut both stacks of 4 sheets in half, so the you have 4 rectangles. Round the corners until you have 4 ovals. Casually crumple the file pastry ovals into the moulds so that they resemble flowers.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Meanwhile grind the cardamom seeds and the aniseeds with a pestle and mortar and remove the green skins.
Melt the sugar in a preheated saucepan and caramelise until pale brown. Add the spices, orange zest and half the mascarpone. Leave to simmer gently for 2 to 4 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Add sea salt to taste. Remove from the heat. Draw the slices of beet through the caramel and lay them in a circle in the moulds with filo pastry. Spoon over approx. 2 tbsp caramel. Bake the tarts for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool briefly, then remove from the moulds and place them on plates. If you have some dainty plates with a cute flower pattern or a lovely shade of pink in the cupboard, don’t hesitate to dig them out.
Mix the rest of the mascarpone with 1 or 2 tbsp beet juice and serve with the tarts. Sprinkle with edible rose petals* if required.
Want to have the whole recipe conveniently to hand? You can download it here!
*One more thing: never tuck in to just any old (cut) flower or plant; only use edible flowers from specialist suppliers that have been grown for human consumption.