roasted beet and goat cheese tart
The thing is, ‘not liking a food’, doesn’t sit well with me. I’m not a picky eater. I’ve never been. I’m adventurous, darnit. Does it mean I love everything that I taste? No, of course not. But, there are very few foods that have crossed my path that I plain old just don’t like. Beets was one of them. Kale was another one, but ever since I discovered putting kale in Veggie Enchiladas, we’re on speaking terms.
I had to choke down my first batch of roasted beets. It wasn’t pretty, but my husband loved them, which just made me even more determined to kick this beet disliking attitude.
Then, when I thought I had lost all hope, I discovered these delectably sweet and tart pickled baby beets one day when I was wandering Costco, so I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. After getting them home, I cracked open the jar and it was like a light bulb went off. Ohhhh, now these were good. After a few jars of those pickled baby beets (over a couple months period, not in one sitting – that would be crazy pants) I began to acclimate my taste buds to the flavor of beets. The sweet pickling helped take the edge off of the dirt flavor, but even that began to grow on me. Weird, I know.
Don’t let me leave out the most important part of this new-found love: goat cheese. Goat cheese and beets are a marriage made in strongly-flavored food heaven. Seriously, try to eat beets without goat cheese. It’s not nearly as fun. Or as tasty.
During my exploration of beets, I discovered this beautifully simplistic salad of mixed greens, roasted (or pickled) beets, crumbled goat cheese, candied pecans and just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar – Oh, my…..It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted. The clean tang of the goat cheese sets off the earthiness (note that I no longer am referring to beets as dirt-flavored. They’re earthy. Classy, huh?) of the roasted beets. A bit of sweetness from the pecans and syrupy balsamic drizzle put this salad at the top of my favorite go-to recipes.
So, I figured why not make my favorite salad into a lovely elegant Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Tart? One that would be perfect for a luncheon with the ladies or a light dinner. While there are several steps to this recipe, none of them are difficult. Even the olive oil cracker crust. And I even tend to shy away from homemade crusts. They make me nervous. This crust is a breeze to whip together. You can save a bit of time by using your favorite pickled beets in place of the roasted ones, too.
Plus, I love using my cute little rectangular tart pan. It’s so fun and for some reason, it makes me feel like wearing a dress and throwing a little tea party. Iced tea, probably. I’m actually wearing a dress today in honor of sharing my Beet and Goat Cheese Tart with you. Don’t be fooled though, it only seems fancy. This tart is actually quite simple. But also quite delicious and full of flavorful surprises. You’re mouth will be happy. Mine definitely is. Especially now that it loves beets.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Tart
Yield: serves 6
For Crust: While beets are roasting, whisk together flours and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in olive oil and water and then knead until a ball forms. Roll dough into about an 8x18 inch rectangle and fit into a 14 inch long rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim any excess dough around the edges. Prick dough all over with a fork and bake at 425 until the crust is golden brown; about 35 minutes. Cool crust on a wire rack. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.
For Filling:Place goat cheese and ricotta cheese in a medium bowl and mix together with a fork. Spread cheese mixture into the bottom of the baked crust, top with sliced beets and sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Bake tart at 350 for about 15 minutes or until goat cheese filling is warmed through.
For Salad: In the bottom of a medium bowl, whisk together honey and balsamic vinegar. Add arugula and toss to coat the greens. Top baked tart with dressed greens and sprinkle with pecans. Cut tart and and serve.