When I tell my friends that I like to watch tv-series on my phone and movies on my computer – simultaneously – they often give me that ”you-are-weird” look. It doesn’t matter that I try to explain that it can be very stressful to be the father of two kids, run a family business and have a blog, so watching tv-series and movies is a nice way to de-stress. And since I don’t have much time to myself, I try to make the most of it, hence the double screens. For many years, I just fast-forwarded through movies (don’t judge) but I have realised that this is a much better way. When I fast-forwarded I often missed essential parts of the plot so I had to rewind several times, and that kind of defeated the purpose. I of course realise that one of the points of movies and tv series is to relax, but in some upside-down way I just feel like I get twice as much relaxation done. Imagine how effective I could be if I learned to multitask while sleeping! (I have already tried watching movies while sleeping and unfortunately it’s just not my thing, even if I’m a fan of the idea.)
Luise isn’t very understanding either, I have explained to her that Sherlock Holmes (the one living in New York with Lucy Liu as an assistant) can watch 10 different televisions at the same time, but she told me that I am being ridiculous (I still don’t understand if she means that I’m ridiculous for making Sherlock Holmes references or because Sherlock Holmes is a pretty awesome guy and I’m ridiculous for even trying to compare myself with him?).
Anyway, today’s recipe is a beet tart. It’s not very complicated to make and it’s really delicious. Perfect for a lunch or a picnic. You can probably make it while watching Sherlock Holmes, but I wouldn’t recommend to simultaneously watch another movie. It’s a one-screen kind of recipe. Mostly because you need to grate beets and I have had enough accidents with the box grater to know that two screens and a box grater is more than even I can handle. I am sure Sherlock could pull it off though.
The tart crust is gluten free and really easy to handle, in fact, it might be our best tart crust ever. I usually just press the dough into a case without using a rolling pin, but this time I rolled it out between two sheets of baking paper and it came out real pretty and easy to handle. However, you need 3 different types of flour and if you think that’s too much, feel free to replace it with your own favourite tart crust recipe.
Given that I’ve been talking about beetroots and Sherlock Holmes, I could easily make some references to blood stains in our kitchen, but I’m going to talk about the flavour and method instead. We went classic with the beet pairings. The idea is to fill up the bottom of the tart with raw grated beetroots, then we top it with sautéed onion and beet greens that are mixed with beaten egg, plant milk, crumbled goat’s cheese, mint and walnuts. And right before we eat it, we usually drizzle some raw honey on top because the sweetness is really nice together with the goat’s cheese. Sherlock has bee hives on his roof so I’m sure he would appreciate the use of honey.
Enough with Sherlock. Now, let’s get cooking.
Beet, Goat’s Cheese & Walnut Tart
8 servings (Loosely inspired from this recipe)
If you find beetroots with fresh and good looking greens, go ahead and use them. They are usually pretty easy to find during the spring and summer. If not, just use the beetroots and replace the beet greens with spinach, chard or kale instead.
1 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz rolled oats (or 3/4 cup / 200 ml oat flour), choose certified gluten free if you are intolerant
1/3 cup / 50 g rice flour
1/2 cup/ 50 g almond flour
2 tbsp potato starch
1/2 tsp salt
80 g / 5 tbsp cold butter or coconut oil, cut into dices
4 tbsp ice-cold water
2-3 beetroots (approx 1 lb/450 g),
1 red onion, peeled
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
salt & pepper
2 large bunches beet greens (or spinach)
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup / 140 ml milk of choice, we used rice
3.5 oz / 100 g goat’s cheese / chèvre
10 fresh mint leaves
10 walnuts, lightly crushed
2 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Add rolled oats, almond flour, rice flour, linseeds and sea salt to a food processor and pulse until the oats have been mixed into flour. Add the diced butter and pulse a few times until you get really small pieces of butter evenly distributed in the flour. (These steps can also be made by hand.) Add the water, pulse until everything comes together. Try to form a ball with your hands. If it feels crumbly, add 1-2 tbsp extra water. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes.
When done, place the dough between two baking papers and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until you got a rough circle, about 1/8 inch / 5 mm thick. Carefully transfer it to a 10 inch / 27 cm tart pan. Trim off any excess dough then use a fork to prick it a few times. Blind-bake for 10 minutes to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
Peel the beetroots and grate them coarsely on a box grater or in a food processor.
Cut the onion thinly. Place a large frying pan on medium heat. Add a slab of coconut oil or butter and, when melted, spread out the onion slices evenly in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes and then shake the pan and fry them on the other side. Add garlic and thyme and fry for about 30 seconds before adding half of the beet greens (or spinach) together with apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. When the greens have wilted down, add the rest, stir around and then take the pan off the heat. Beat the eggs together with the milk and then crumble in the goat’s cheese finely. Add sautéed vegetables and mint leaves and stir around.
Arrange the grated beets at the bottom of the tart, reserve some for the top. Pour the egg and greens mixture over the center, make sure that the cheese is somewhat evenly distributed. We usually leave about an inch / 2 cm of beetroot untouched towards the edges (just because it’s pretty) but it’s not necessary. Make sure the filling is all moist from the liquid. Tuck in walnut pieces here and there at the top and drizzle over the remaining beetroot shreds. You can drizzle some honey on top before baking if you prefer a bit of caramelised top, or just save it for after it’s baked (or do both if you prefer ir a bit sweeter). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and firm. Serve with a dollop of Turkish yogurt and some drizzled honey on top.
Oh, one other thing, completely unrelated to Sherlock Holmes and Beet Tarts. We’re going to Milan next week to talk about the Italian edition of our (first) book. We will be talking, cooking a recipe and have a book signing at Corriere della Sera’s food event Cibo a regola d’arte on Thursday 21st May at 5.30pm. The event is free and will take place in Triennale – salone d’Onore. Hope to see some of you there!