Colourful and delicious freeform tarts!
I love making freeform tarts both large and small, sweet and savoury. Using purchased puff pastry makes these tarts a snap to assemble and gives them a delicate, crispy texture that’s really appealing. You could add in other vegetables such as roasted carrots or sliced zucchini; just be sure not to overload the tarts so the pastry bakes evenly. These are delicious as an appetizer or make a great main course when paired with a green salad. If you’re a big fan of beets (as I am) you might also like this scrumptious warm beet and pear salad or this delightful beet and walnut pesto.
- 1 medium or two small beets
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) olive oil, divided
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3/4 cup (180 g) goat cheese, crumbled (or non-dairy substitute)
- Several sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Peel the beet(s) and cut the root and stem ends off. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of the olive oil. Fold up the edges of the foil to form a sealed packed. Place on a small baking tray. Roast in the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes, until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from oven; open foil packet to let beet(s) cool and set aside. Beet(s) can be cooked up to 24 hours ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to assemble tarts.
- While beets are roasting, sauté the diced onion in a small frying pan along with the remaining olive oil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring often, until onions are completely softened and just beginning to turn brown (about 20 minutes). Set aside to cool. Onions can be cooked up to 24 hours ahead of time and refrigerated.
- When ready to assemble and bake tarts, preheat oven to 400F.
- Unroll the puff pastry; lightly dust with flour and place between two sheets of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, gently roll the puff pastry to flatten out any creases or cracks, creating a rectangle approximately 12 x 10 inches (30 x 25 cm). Cut the pastry into six evenly sized rectangles and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking tray. Carefully fold about 1/4 inch (.6 cm) of each rectangle’s edges towards the centre, forming a raised border.
- Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons (10 g) of the cooked onion followed by 1 tablespoon (15 g) of the crumbled goat cheese over each pastry rectangle, keeping raised border empty. Scatter a few thyme leaves over the onions and cheese.
- Halve and thinly slice the cooked beet(s). Lay 3 – 4 slices across the goat cheese and onions on each pastry rectangle, overlapping the slices slightly. Sprinkle each tart with salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of balsamic. Sprinkle a few more onions and a bit more goat cheese over each galette.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 22 – 25 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Serve warm, with additional balsamic for drizzling, if desired.
Makes 6 tarts.