Wilted beetroot leaves and goats cheese tart
Last week I shared about tarts being a perfect tool for hiding blemishes and wilted produce. Since you now know how to make a tart base, let's look at a way to fill the tart shell.
The other day I bought a bunch of beetroot with the leaves and stalks still left on. While I was intending to use both bulbs and the stalks and leaves, I used the bulbs first and kept procrastinating on the leaves and stalks. I was maybe not so inspired because I found the leaves were inhabited by dozens, probably even over a hundred tiny black bugs that I noticed on the way home. I made sure to put the bunch into my crisper as soon as I got home to prevent them from taking over my kitchen and perhaps the rest of my apartment.
So out of mind out of sight as it happens with leftovers and food waste. While I dealt with the bulbs rather soon (even though they keep well so much longer!) I didn't want to face the rest. Luckily I am developing more and more of an awareness for food waste and feel increasingly guilty when I am thinking of throwing something. The leaves looked less and less appealing. But they were still ok.
Wilted doesn't mean it has to be discarded. Especially if you consider that when we cook leaves they wilt within seconds and lose their fresh and crisp look. Wilted is probably not good enough for a salad anymore in most cases, but good enough for a tart filling. And that's what I was planning to use the beetroot leaves for in the first place. Even though wilted they looked good enough to cook after a couple of weeks in the fridge. Cleaning them and making sure they are bug-free was quicker and easier than I thought. Chopping is no big deal and sautéing requires little effort. Whenever I have procrastinated and eventually get into action, I wonder why on earth I have put it off for that long.
I love beetroot with goats cheese or another dairy product like yogurt. The filling of the tart was beetroot leaves and stalks, crumbled goats cheese and a simple custard of egg, cream, salt and pepper and thyme. Served with a salad it makes a wonderful lunch that is both quick and easy to prepare.
If you don't want to make your own shortcrust pastry, by all means feel free to purchase readymade at the supermarket, but it does make a difference, as most shop-bought pastry uses palm oil instead of butter and too me tastes bitter.
goat cheese and beetroot leaves tart
1 tart shell (25 cm diametre)
leaves and stalks of one bunch of beetroot
200 ml cream
200 g goats cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons of dried thyme (or herbs de Provence)
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
Wash the leaves and stalks and leave to dry in a colander.
Crack the eggs in a bowl and mix with the cream. Add the goats cheese and thyme and whisk again. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add the chopped beetroot leaves and stalks and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Transfer to the baked tart shell and pour over the custard. Spread out with a spatula so the whole tart shell is evenly covered.
Transfer the tart shell to the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the edges are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and serve immediately or serve at room temperature.