It’s lucky I love colorful food. There’s been nice big bunches of bright red beets in my last few Full Circle Farm CSA boxes. Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart (Παντζαρόπιτα)
The best thing about an abundance of beets is being able to experiment. I’ve already written about my savory Roasted Beet and Thyme Risotto, and just completed testing on a wonderful Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart. The tart was inspired by the traditional Greek pairing of beets and skordalia, a strongly flavored garlic sauce.
In the last few months, I’ve made beet tarts with golden beets, chiogga beets, and blood-red beets. I’ve tried various combinations of herbs and spices, and different amounts of onions and garlic. I’ve tested crusts with butter, crusts with olive oil, and crusts with both.
My finished tart recipe layers roasted beets and onions sautéed until sweet, and is seasoned liberally with fresh garlic and thyme. Feta cheese and sour cream add tang, and a crisp, flaky crust balances the filling’s strong flavors.
Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart is equally good served hot or at room temperature (I’ve been known to eat it cold, straight from the refrigerator). As a result, it can easily be made ahead and served as an appetizer or first course.
Makes one 9-inch tart; serves 4 -6
The tart can be made successfully with any variety of beet. No matter the variety, I always roast beets to concentrate and enhance their flavor. Using a little butter in the crust (filo) isn’t traditional (nor is this tart), but it adds good flavor and flakiness. Olive oil can fully replace the butter, and the crust will be tasty, but slightly tougher. Add more water to make the crust if butter is left out. The dough may also be made by hand. If mixing by hand, make sure the olive oil is evenly distributed in the flour and use a fork or pastry cutter to add the butter.
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Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart (Παντζαρόπιτα)