Bursting with flavour, Denis Cotter shows exactly how to make this easy and impressive tasty dish!



  • 200 g plain flour
  • 100 g cold butter
  • 50 ml cold water
  • 200 g red onions
  • 300 g beetroot (cooked, peeled and grated)
  • 4 tblsp brown sugar
  • 4 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 140 g watercress
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 40 g walnuts
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 240 g bluebell falls fresh goats cheese (sliced in rounds)


  1. Make pastry with the flour, butter and water, chill for an hour, roll it out and cut circles to fit six small tartlet cases. Blind bake for ten minutes.
  2. Slice the red onions in half, then into thin slices. Cook the onion and beetroot in a little olive oil, stirring often, until the onions are fully cooked and beginning to caramelise.
  3. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or so until the onions are very soft and the liquid is syrupy. Leave to cool.
  4. Put 100g of the watercress, the garlic and walnuts in a food processor and chop to a coarse puree. Add the olive oil and blend briefly to get a thick sauce.
  5. Add more oil if the pesto seems too thick. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Fill the pastry cases with beetroot relish and put a slice of cheese on top of each.
  7. Bake the tartlets in a medium oven until heated through and the cheese has coloured a little and started to melt. Serve with some pesto and a little fresh watercress.