In my experience beets one of the most under-utilized veggies. Their sweet-yet-earthy flavor can be hard to incorporate into some meals and the bright red color can stain. Despite all these obstacles, beets are extremely versatile and very nutritious.
In this ricotta beet tart beets are front and center. However, there are strong supporting roles in both the ricotta sauce and the pastry itself. So if you haven’t been scared off by a few beets let’s get into the making of this dish.
The first thing we need to do is the soften and pre-cook the beets. This is a simple process of oven roasting them with some thyme. This not only gives them more flavor, it also drives off some of the water in these very water-logged little root veggies.
Then it’s time to prepare the puff pastry. You could, of course, make your own. But, buying the frozen dough is about 95% less work.
For this tart you only need to spread out one thawed sheet onto parchment paper then top it with the second. Then mark out a square in the center and score it so that it doesn’t puff as much. This is how you create a “crust” from two thin sheets of dough. Pre-bake this just until it puffs and then work on the ricotta sauce.
This ricotta mixture adds rich favor and a creamy texture to the tart. A surprise ingredient of horseradish gives the just amount of spice to the cheesy mixture.
Spread this in the center of the pastry in a nice thick layer. Then top with your beets.
Bake just until the edges of the pastry are a darkened, golden color. Then sprinkle the top of the tart with some fresh thyme and parmesan.
The finished result is a tart so tasty that even “non” beet people will enjoy the combination of hearty beets with rich cheeses and pastry. Plus the extra bonus is that you’re eating a veggie that’s very high in B vitamins and in minerals. Nutrition and flavor together is a combo no one can beet, or er, beat.
Ricotta Beet Tart
25m prep time
1h cook time
- 6 beets, scrubbed, trimmed, and sliced into 1/4” thick pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
- 1 (17 oz) package puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place beets on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Bake for 30 minutes or until beets have reduced in size. Set aside to cool.
- Turn oven down to 350˚F. Lay one sheet pastry on lined baking sheet. Brush with egg and lay second sheet on top. Score a rectangle into top piece leaving an edge on each side. Score inside this rectangle. This ensures the middle puffs less than the “crust”. Brush egg all over top layer as well.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are puffed. Set aside while you prepare toppings.
- Combine remaining egg with horseradish, ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan, and remaining garlic powder in large bowl. Stir in Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread cheese mixture on puff pastry within the rectangle you scored earlier. Top with beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
- Top with extra thyme leaves for garnish and cut into squares to serve.
Recipe adapted from Woolworth’s.