Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 1-19-2017 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
This luscious tart utilizes the beets as well as the beet greens, so there is ZERO waste!
The smoky earthiness of beets is accentuated by the delicate crunch of the cornmeal crust and the goat cheese filling.
Vegetarian (and gluten-free) comfort food at its finest!
We cut the beets into a heart shape for a lovely Valentine’s Day entrée for you and your sweetie to share.
PIES AND TARTS RECIPE HELP
NOTE: The beets WILL stain your cutting board!
Just spray the board with a diluted bleach solution, and the stains will magically disappear.
For the beets:
9 - 10 large assorted beets; we used red, golden and white beets
2/3 cups blanched and roughly chopped beet greens - use those attached to the beets; if the beets do not have greens attached, substitute with Swiss chard, chard or spinach, fresh or frozen, thawed
For the crust:
1 cup cornmeal, fine grind (regular)
4 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 1/2 cups
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/3 cup of milk, whole or 2%
1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Few grinds of fresh ground black pepper
For the filling:
Beet greens, from above
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
2 large garlic cloves, put through a press
2 large eggs
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Pinch of dried thyme
Large pinch dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the finishing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
HOW TO PREPARE THE BEET GREENS. MEASURE 2/3 CUP NEEDED FOR THE RECIPE:
Cut the beet greens:
1. Cut the greens off the beets, leaving 1-inch of the stems at the top of the beets. Do NOT discard the beets greens; they will be used in the recipe.
Do not remove the beet tails.
NOTE: Doing this will keep most of the color from bleeding out of the beets as they roast.
Wash the beet greens:
1. Place the cut beet greens in a large bowl of cold water. Gently turn the greens so that they are all soaking in the water.
This will help dislodge any dried-on dirt.
NOTE: Beet greens are often VERY dirty, so rinse them several times, in several changes of water.
Blanch the washed beet greens:
Blanching is done by quickly plunging washed beet greens or any greens you are using in this recipe, in boiling water, called blanching, and, then cooling them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a large pinch of salt.
2. Add the beet greens. Blanch the washed greens for one minute, then scoop them out and place them in a bowl of ice water to cool.
3. When cool, squeeze the greens to remove as much water and possible.
Chop the beet greens:
1. Rough-chop the greens. Remove any excess water.
2. Measure 2/3 cups for the recipe, and set aside until needed in the recipe.
This can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated overnight.
STEP I: ROAST THE BEETS
1. Position and oven shelf to the middle. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Scrub the beets in cool water with a vegetable brush.
If they are very dirty, this may require several changes of water.
3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil, and place the washed beets on the foil.
4. Cover the beets with another piece of foil and crimp all the edges to make a steaming packet.
5. Roast the beets for 1-1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beets.
Pierce beets with a skewer or tip of a sharp knife to check for tenderness.
6. When beets are tender, remove them from the oven, open the packet (pointed away from you because the steam from beets are very hot) and set them aside to cool, while you prepare the cornmeal crust in Step II.
The beets take a long time to cool. You should refrigerate the beets after sitting at room temperature for 2 hours.
You may roast the beets the day before you make the tart, if you like, and refrigerate them whole.
STEP II: PREPARE AND BAKE THE CORNMEAL CRUST
While you wait for the beets to cool, make and par-bake the crust.
1. Reduce to oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
2. GENEROUSLY spray a 9-inch tart pan, with a removable bottom, with nonstick spray.
NOTE: Do not miss a spot, because the cheese in the crust likes to stick to the pan.
2. In a medium bowl, add the cornmeal, cheese, salt, sugar (if you are using honey, instead of sugar, add it with the wet ingredients), granulated garlic, and a few grinds of pepper to a large bowl and stir to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, add the egg and olive oil to the milk, and whisk to combine.
NOTE: if you are using honey, instead of sugar, add it here.
4. Make a well in the cornmeal and dry ingredients and add the milk/egg mixture.
Toss gently to combine.
5. Scatter the crust mixture over the prepared tart pan and press it to cover bottom and sides of the pan.
6. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes.
Remove par-baked crust from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet.
The crust can be covered and stored at room temperture.
STEP III: FINISH COOKING THE TART FILLING. CUT THE BEETS. ASSEMBLE THE TART. BAKE.
Finish cooking the tart filling:
1. Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan, and cook the onions until caramelized or browned, over medium heat, stirring often.
2. Then add the garlic, the chopped beet greens, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Sauté or cook for a minute or so, then remove from heat and allow it to cool. You should cover and refrigerate the filling after 2 hours.
Peel and cut the beets:
NOTE: Start the peeling and cutting with the white and golden beets!
The color from the red beets will transfer to the white and golden beets, so peel and cut them last!
1. Cut the tails and stems off the beets and slip off the skins.
2. Cut the beets into 1/4-inch thick slices, then optionally cut out heart shapes with 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/2-inch heart shaped cookie cutters.
Try to get as many large hearts as possible, and use the smaller cutter on the slices that are too small for the large cutter.
NOTE: Save the scraps, wrapped in the refrigerator! They are delicious in salad.
Finish the filling and assemble the tart:
1.Place the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk them briefly.
Crumble the goat cheese into the eggs and stir.
2. Then add the cooled beet greens mixture and the thyme and basil, plus salt and pepper.
Stir to combine.
2. Spread the filling over the bottom of the cooled crust, then arrange the beet hearts over the filling, being sure to overlap slightly and adding the small hearts to fill up and spaces between them.
Alternate the colors to make it more visually appealing.
3. Brush the beets with olive oil.
Store tart in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
Reheat before serving.