Golden Beet Tart
I try to support my local famers by buying a box of vegetables through a co-op ever few weeks. There are many reasons that you should find and support your local farmers. One of my favorite reasons is that I get a box of seasonal vegetables, many of which are a complete surprise to me. My last box contained a massive yellow-orange root. I honestly was guessing that it was the mother-of-all carrots but since the computer was (is?) more or less stuck to my hip, I “googled” it. Turns out it was a golden beet.
Maybe this is obvious to many – but I had no clue that beet could come in any other color but red! After doing the usual show and blab with my husband, reading wikipedia about beets, I settled down to contemplate the trickier question – “How do I eat this extraordinary beet?”. I really wanted a dish that showcased the fact that this golden beauty was indeed a beet and not a mere carrot or pumpkin. Basically, I didn’t want to chop it into pieces or grate it up.
This recipe is perfect for highlighting the beautiful color of this beet. The beet is right there front and center, showing off its classic beet rings, shamelessly hidden by absolutely nothing. Unfortunately I took the pictures at night, so the lighting really doesn’t do it justice. This dish looks as gorgeous as it tastes (which is really really good). The dark flecks of thyme are really well offset by the tawny beet.
I’m sure this dish would taste good with red beets as well, however, red beets have a much stronger flavor than their golden counterpart. Also, red beets tend to stain and likely to dye the cheese. Just a guess – I haven’t actually tried red beets.
I ate this as my main for dinner with a side of stir-fried broccoli. So delicious that when I told my husband that the pictures didn’t come out as well as I hoped, he said with a big smile, “Oh darn! Guess we’ll have to make it again!”.
Golden Beet Tart
Makes: 12 slices (1 9″x13″ pan)
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes
For the Crust:
- 3 cups almond flour
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Topping:
- 1 large golden beet (or 2 medium ones)
- 1 package soft table cheese (roughly 8 oz.)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (divided: 1 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided: 3 tablespoons, 1/2 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh / dry thyme
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and trim the golden beet(s). I used a single large beet here.
2. Wrap the beet(s) in aluminum foil. Place directly on oven rack and roast until the thickest part is easily pierced with a fork; about 45 – 60 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, dice the butter into small chunks.
4. Using a food processor combine the butter, almond flour, egg and sea salt to make the crust dough. Simply pulse the food processor till the dough become clumps. You can also kneed the ingredients together in a medium bowl by hand. Its okay if some of the butter pieces are visible in the kneaded dough.
5. Remove dough from processor and form a ball.
6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into 1/2 inch thick rectangle (9″x13″ or the size of your baking pan) on parchment paper. Since almond flour dough is generally sticky, the easiest way I’ve found is to use a small piece of parchment paper on top of the dough while rolling it out so that the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. Use your fingers to give the crust straight edges. Transfer to a baking sheet or pan and pierce all over with a fork.
7. Bake for 15 – 30 minutes at 400°F until it’s golden brown. Remove from oven and allow it to cool (completely if possible – but it won’t hurt too much if it’s lukewarm).
8. While the crust is cooling, clean the food processor blender. Use it or a blender to mix the cheese, a teaspoon of black pepper and 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a smooth spreadable paste.
9. When the beet is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. If you’re like me and can’t wait for the beets to cool by themselves, hold them under running cold water while you peel them.
10. In a bowl toss the beet slices with thyme, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
11. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the crust. Layer beet slices on the crust. Serve by slicing the tart with a knife.