Changing Tastes – Roasted Beet Tart

When I was a nanny, the family I worked for had a cook who prepared weeknight dinners for them.  When I started, the cook asked me if there was anything I did not like.  Being someone who is not a very picky eater (that was my brother’s MO), I had really only two things on my list – cauliflower and beets.  A few months later the dish she served was a beet and cauliflower salad.  Purple cauliflower – yuck!  Let’s just say I didn’t eat that evening.

My reasoning behind not liking cauliflower is simple – I could never get past the stinky smell when it was cooked.  As for beets, I’m really not sure why I didn’t like them. Actually, I am not sure I’d ever really tasted one.  I just assumed I didn’t like them.  I think people assume they don’t like something way too often and miss out on some amazing food.  That was me and beets.  After finally trying them, I discovered I loved beets – especially a roasted beet!  Yummmmmm!!!

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When recently hosting a dinner party, I was looking for an impressive dish that would be colorful, in season, and would compliment the roasted corn salad, grilled shrimp and steak I was serving.  I immediately thought of beets.  Since I already had a salad, I checked out Pinterest for other alternatives using beets and came across a beet tart.  It looked amazing and the perfect compliment the rest of the meal.

I found my inspiration on Pinterest – the Beetroot Tarte Tatin from the blog Cannelle et Vanilla and the Herbed Goat Cheese Tart with Roasted Beets from the Photo Journal found at www.monikakotus.com.  

Please Note:  This recipe is a multi-step process and takes some time to prepare.  I highly suggest you read through it thoroughly and plan your timing accordingly.  I did not and it caused a bit of a timing issue for me in prepping for the dinner party.  Don’t catch yourself as I did with a messy kitchen, un-showered and guests coming in 30 minutes.  No one needs that added stress. 

Step One – roasted beets

  • 3-4 golden beets
  • 3-4 small red beets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • sea salt, fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs, I used thyme and marjoram

After finding some gorgeous red and golden beets from my local farmer’s market heaven, Wilson Farm, the first step was to roast the beets.  This can be done easily in the oven.  

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Wrap each beet in foil and place in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 – 40 minutes.  Let cool and remove skin slipping them off by rubbing with a paper towel. Using the paper towel also helps reduce finger stains from the red beets. Thinly slice beets and place red and golden beets in two separate bowls. Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme salt and pepper, pour even amounts over each bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes but the longer the better.

Step Two – the pastry 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix flour, salt, sugar, and butter until mixed creating a coarse mixture.  Slowly add cold water till a dough is formed.  Take dough and flatten into a round disc, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 30 min).

Step Three – the filling

  • 10 ounces soft mild goat cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano

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In the food processor or kitchen aid combine all filling ingredients and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate ‘til ready to use.

Step Four – the crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick rectangular shape. Roll the dough around the rolling pin to more easily lift it over a tart pan with a removable bottom or a bar pan (I used a large stone bar pan). Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners.  Cut off extra dough hanging over the edge. Prick dough all over with a fork then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes. Once chilled, bake for 10-15 minutes on the middle rack.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Step Five – baked filling 

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Spread the filling in the cooled shell and place it back in the oven to bake on the middle rack for another 20 minutes.

Step Six – arranging the beats and crumbled goat cheese

  • 1 package crumbled goat cheese

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Remove the tart from oven.  Arrange the marinated beets on top alternating between golden and red beets.  Top with a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese.  Bake for another 10 minutes.

Step Seven – garnish and serve

Garnish with additional chopped herbs used in the filling.  Drizzle with some of the leftover oil and vinegar mixture saved from marinating the beets.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  

This would be fantastic served with an arugula salad dressed with some of the marinade from the beats and a fabulous glass of white wine.  

Enjoy!

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