No celebration of pies would be complete without some appreciation for the savory side of things. Sure, berries and apples and chocolate fillings grab the spotlight, but pie crust pairs equally well with herbs and cheese and eggs and spinach and caramelized onions and all sorts of other highly flavorful toppings.
Like beets. No, that’s not crazy. Think of your classic beet-and-goat-cheese salad, in a tart.
There are some overwintered beets in the markets right now and plenty of storage beets in the grocery stores, and you’ve probably got one or two in the back of your crisper, anyway. Pair it with a local goat cheese, like Poplar Hill, Stickney Hill, or Singing Hills, drizzle it with honey, and sprinkle it with sumac and you’ve got a nice salad. But bake that in a buttery, salty crust and you’ve got a perfect summer appetizer.
I’ve made this tart using a pate brisee for the crust, but for a quick summer dish I wanted something simpler, so I pulled some puff pastry out of the freezer. There’s no shame in using frozen puff pastry: While DIY is a laudable goal, there are some things the pros do much better than most of us ever could in our home kitchens. Plus, once you’ve got the beets roasted, this is easy as, ahem, pie.
Beet and Goat Cheese Tart
Inspiration from here.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
½–¾ pound beets
½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
6 oz goat cheese
1–2 tbsp honey (optional)
1 tsp dried sumac
Roast beets: Wrap beets in tin foil and roast in a 400˚ oven until a knife slides very easily all the way through. How long this takes varies greatly with the size of the beets, but count on about an hour. For this recipe, I cook my beets a little longer than I might for other uses, so they are quite soft. Peel under running water as soon as they are cool enough to touch. Slice about ¼-inch thick.
Make tart: Heat oven to 400˚. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
Mix yogurt, egg, and goat cheese together.
Place pastry on lightly floured baking sheet, or one lined with parchment paper. Brush very lightly with olive oil.
Cover pastry with overlapping discs of beets, leaving about 1 inch around the edges. Spoon the goat cheese mixture over the top (still leaving the edges clear). Drizzle with honey if you’re using it, and sprinkle with sumac.
Bake 30 minutes until puffed and quite brown.
Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature.