As a foodie, I’m constantly searching for new recipes and ideas for us to try, either through FB, Twitter, Instagram, other Blogs etc. I found this recipe on food52 and immediately fell in love with it’s simplicity. Some of my favorite ingredients – Beets, Goat Cheese and Puff Pastry were in it. So, here it is with my notes, as always, in italics. This is a keeper recipe, the only thing that took any time at all was the baking of the beets. This makes a great lunch with the wilted greens or a satisfying dinner.
The original recipe just called for the greens but I didn’t have a lot of greens on my beets (to serve 4) so I would add Kale or Spinach to the mixture to get quantity. It’s just a really quick sauté so you don’t want to cook the spinach. If using Kale, sauté it first, then add the Beet Greens, or, add the Spinach to the Beet Greens for a quick toss when the greens are almost done – just a couple of minutes sauté for the greens. This will serve 4 – 6 people. Puff pastry is a delight to make, but also a long process. Do yourself a favor for this recipe and pick up a packet of frozen puff pastry. You only need half of what is in the packet so make sure you thaw only half – not that easy to do if you buy it in block form. As always – enjoy!
5 small (2-3 inch diameter) Beets, any color with the Greens
2 cups of Kale Leaves or Baby Spinach Leaves – optional depending on the quantity of beet greens
1/2 package of frozen Puff Pastry, or equivalent of home made – used PC brand puff pastry, it comes pre rolled in sheets, I used one sheet
¼ – ½ cup whole milk or cream – or a combination of the two
3-5 ounces soft Chevre style goat cheese, room temp
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
salt, pepper, and grate or two of nutmeg – to taste
Remove the greens from the beets, wash and drain in a colander.
Wash the beets, wrap individually in tin foil and bake for about 45 – 60 minutes at 400f until done. They are done when the tip of a knife easily pierces through the foil wrapped beet. If the beets are of uneven size and they sometimes are if in a bunch, test each size and remove accordingly.
Remove them from the oven, unwrap and set aside to cool slightly. While still warm peel the beets – the skins come off easily – otherwise you haven’t baked them long enough, and slice them into 1/4″ thick slices (give or take). I used tongs to hold them in place while I sliced them for the tart, still got my fingers red.
If you bought the frozen puff pastry that comes rolled in sheets, unroll the thawed sheet. Crimp, roll or fold over about 1″ border on the puff pastry to form a shell (brush some water on the edges to ensure they stick together) – you want to form a rim that will hold the custard without overflowing. Or, roll out the puff pastry block to about 1/8″ thickness, a square or oblong is easiest to form a rim.
Brush the inside of the square/oblong shell with Dijon mustard and crack some black pepper over it.
Combine the egg and the goat cheese with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Slowly add the milk or cream, stirring until you have a thick but pourable consistency, it should be no thinner than pancake batter.
Pour the custard into the pastry shell then lay the beets on top, being careful not to overflow the pastry shell – the beets still have to go on top so you need the space. When you add the beet slices in whatever arrangement you like, don’t get hung up if you get the custard on top of the beets. It happens, use the back of a paring knife to scrape it back into the mix – call it “rustic”.
Paint the top with some cream or an egg yolk sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper.
Bake at 400f until the pastry is golden, the custard is set, and the top is just a little brown – this took 17 minutes in my oven.
About 5 minutes before you pull the tart out of the oven, heat a small amount of oil in a large sauté pan. Sauté the Beet Greens and Stems with the Kale or Spinach (see opening comments on the spinach/kale additions)
I initially thought the custard was too little, but it was just the right amount.
I didn’t roll the pastry ends I made them stand up like a box lid, and froze the pastry before filling and baking, only to realize that in the hot oven the ends would collapse anyway due to the butter in the puff – still worked out though, no overflow.