Golden Beet Tartlets

I have a confession to make: I’m not very fond of beets. I can enjoy beet juice in cooking, and I’ve made the occasional beet risotto and beet pasta, but eating the vegetable whole tends to be too much for me.  Luckily, farmers’ markets have been providing less earthy alternatives to the common red variety, such as the widespread golden beet. And now that the first frosts have officially marked the end of the green vegetable season, I find myself looking for more root vegetable recipe ideas.

Just like with the sweetbread and chanterelle tarlets, I am using a custard base. To that I add the salty, acidic taste of Bulgarian feta, which can stand up to both the bitterness and sweetness of the beets.  Gathering the four basic tastes in one dish, this is a good introduction for beet-skeptics!

Golden beet tartlets
Yields 8 tartlets

16 oz small golden beets
salt
13 oz pâte brisée
4 oz heavy cream
2 oz Bulgarian feta, crumbled
1 egg
1 egg yolk
black pepper, ground
nutmeg, grated

  • Without peeling them, season the golden beets with salt and wrap them individually in foil. Place into a dish and cook in a 350 F oven for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool.
  • Peel the beets and cut into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
  • Roll the pâte brisée and cut eight 4 1/2″ discs. Line eight tartlet molds with greased parchment paper. Transfer the discs to the molds and prick with a fork. Cook in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes, then remove the tartlets from their molds and reserve.
  • Whisk the heavy cream, feta, egg and egg yolk with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour enough of this custard into the tartlets to cover the bottom. Arrange the beets on top, then fill with custard to the rim. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes. Finish under the broiler for 1 minute and serve immediately.

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