What? Greg’s making Savory Pies, again? Is he crazy? This time in the form of a Beet Tart with Goat Cheese.
As you may know I spent the last 14 months making Savory Pies for a just released cookbook of the same name. Savory Pies. It’s out (finally) on Ulysses Press. During the writing of this book I made a lot of pies (a lot). But not all of them made it into the book. Not all the rejects were “rejects” however. Sometimes pies landed on the cutting room floor due to editorial decisions. I wanted there to be a good balance between vegetarian pies and meat pies. Too many round pies gets visually boring– page after page. So some perfectly good pies didn’t feel like they belonged in this particular book.
This Golden Beet Tart with Goat Cheese, Purple Basil & Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is the perfect example. It’s a beauty for sure and the classic combination of beets and goat cheese is a winner. I particularly like the presentation with the purple basil dressed with poppy seed vinaigrette. It elevates this to a salad-like first course that would be a beautiful start to any meal.
You’ll notice the crust of this tart is cut perfectly round and baked perfectly flat. Like a great big cracker. I did this because I wanted to lay out the beets in a way that might turn a few heads. Beets are a beautiful vegetable and deserve a beautiful presentation. So if you want to make this tart picture perfect you may use a small round cutter to trim all the beet slices into same-sized rounds. It’s not necessary but your efforts will be aesthetically rewarded.
serves 6 to 8 CLICK here for a printable recipe
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
- 4 T olive oil, divided
- 2 T grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 T poppy seeds
- 1 oz disc extra rich short crust pastry
- 2 t sugar
- 1 t minced shallot
- 1 pn kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
- 1 lb golden beets, tops removed
- 1 T flour, as needed for rolling
- 4 oz softened fresh goat cheese (such as montrachet)
- 2 c loosely packed purple and/or green basil leaves
Prepare Extra Rich Short Crust recipe Recipe found HERE Extra Rich Short Pastry.
Divide dough in half, shape into 2 discs about 5‑inches in diameter and 3/4‑inch thick. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days), or freeze up to 1 month.
Place balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, poppy seeds, sugar, shallot, and a pinch each kosher salt & pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Set vinaigrette aside at least 1 hour for the flavors to come together. Then shake again right before serving.
Set oven rack to center position. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lay beets onto a large piece of tin foil. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch each salt & pepper. Enclose completely in foil, creating a tight packet. Move foil-wrapped beets to a baking pan. Roast until tender, about 1 hour (depending on size of beets). Beets are fully cooked when a small sharp knife may be inserted all the way to center with very little resistance. Set aside to cool somewhat, loosely wrapped in the foil. Leave oven on and set to 400 degrees F.
Use a lightly floured surface and a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one disc of the chilled dough to a round a bit bigger 11-inches in diameter a generous 1/8‑inch thick. It can be helpful to roll this dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper if you prefer. Save the other disc of dough for another use. Carefully fold the rolled dough in half and slide it onto rolling pin. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Unfold the dough, laying it perfectly flat on the sheet. Use a 10 to 11-inch dinner plate as a template to cut a perfectly shaped round of dough. Discard trimmings. Prick dough round all over with a fork. Sprinkle top of the dough round with the remaining 1‑tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
Bake chilled round in heated oven until lightly golden, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Set crust aside on a rack to cool, still on baking sheet.
When beets are cool enough to handle, slice off root and stem ends. Use your fingers to rub skin off. If skin doesn’t strip away easily, return beets to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Once peeled, slice beets into very uniform rounds, about 1/8‑inch thick. A mandoline is helpful but not necessary.
Turn broiler on.
Place baked crust still on its baking sheet in front of you. Starting on outside edge, lay beet slices slightly overlapping in concentric circles. Work clockwise, towards the center until tart is completely covered. Save one particularly nice slice for the very center. You might have extra slices. Season tart lightly with a pinch each salt and pepper.
Slice goat cheese into 6 or 7 rounds, placing them on top of beets in an attractive pattern. Move tart to broiler, and brown cheese lightly and the beets begin to curl, about 3 minutes. You may need to rotate pan halfway through to ensure that cheese browns evenly.
Garnish tart with fresh basil leaves. Slice and serve with vinaigrette on the side.