I recently made this recipe on a cold Sunday spent at home and realized it might be the perfect pink dish to share closer to Valentine’s day. If you happen to find yourself in the kitchen (by choice, I hope), this beet and feta tart with a flaky thyme crust is the perfect course for a love day dinner.
As much as I try to make the most natural, healthy version of almost every recipe, sometimes you just can’t cut too many corners. This is one of those times. The layers of flaky crust combined with sweet beets, creamy feta, leeks, and egg make for a perfectly balanced bite. If it doesn’t make the cut for your Valentine’s day menu, try making it for a brunch, lunch with friends, or Sunday night supper. Pre-warning: Your entire house will smell like a bakery.
Beet and Feta Tart
1 ⅓ cup all purpose flour (I used gluten-free flour)
⅓ cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1.5 tsp thyme leaves
pinch of salt
¼ cup cold water
2 large beets
1 large leek, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
1 tbsp. fresh basil
½ cup feta
¾ cup cream (half the fat)
a pinch salt and pepper
1. Remove stems from beets and scrub under cold water. In a double boiler, bring water to a boil and then lower to simmer. Place beets in pot and cover. Let cook for 1 hour.
2. Once tender, remove beets and place under cold water. With a paper towel, peel the skin off and slice thinly. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, mix the flour, butter, thyme and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the cold water and continue to mix until the dough comes together. Form dough into a disc, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
4. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with butter. On a well-floured surface, roll out the chilled dough about an inch longer than the tart pan. Using your rolling pin, roll the dough loosely around the entire pin to transfer the dough to the tart pan. Cut off any extra dough and return to the fridge covered for 15 more minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Cut out an 8-inch circle out of parchment paper. Place over crust and cover with pie weights, uncooked beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights and return to the oven for 6 minutes.
6. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add in leeks and cook until softened. Add in sliced beets, vinegar, thyme, basil and honey. Season with salt and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the the sauce begins to thicken.
7. Pour beet mixture over tart and crumble feta cheese on top.
8. Whisk eggs and cream together. Pour the egg mixture over the tart. Sprinkle with extra thyme leaves on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
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