I'm taking a break from grapefruit (but I'm sure it won't be for long). Right now the "it" food in my kitchen is beets. I would NEVER eat beets as a child when my mother made them. But fortunately my tastes have changed. Now beets are one of my favorite root vegetables. I used to limit my use of beets to the summer months when I have them growing in my own vegetable garden... but not anymore. I buy them frequently, roast them, and have them on hand for salads and tarts year-round.
Beet Tart with Walnut and Black Pepper Crust
• 4 medium sized beets, roasted
• Walnut and Black Pepper tart crust, recipe below
• 4 ounces blue cheese
• 6 ounces goat cheese
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• mixed spring lettuces
TO MAKE THE TART: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the dough-lined tart pan on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Crumble all of the blue cheese and 4 ounces of the goat cheese evenly over the crust, drizzle with the heavy cream, and return to the oven. Bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and top with sliced and cubed roasted beets. Crumble remaining 2 ounces goat cheese on top of the beets. Make a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss with the spring lettuces and serve alongside the beet tart.
TO MAKE THE CRUST:
• 1 3/4 cup pastry flour
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
• 4 tablespoons ice water
1. Place flour, walnuts, peppercorns, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the walnuts are finely ground.
2. Add the butter and pulse until the size of small peas. Slowly drizzle in the ice water while pulsing, until the dough just starts to come together. Wrap the dough in plastic and press into a disc. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
3. Place the dough between lightly floured sheets of waxed paper and roll to a 1/8-inch thickness. (This is very delicate dough. You may want to chill the rolled dough briefly before turning it into the tart pan.) Line a 9-inch round tart pan with the pastry dough and trim the edges. If there are breaks in the dough, simply patch with the left-over scraps. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and place in the freezer until ready to bake.
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