This easy rustic beet and goat cheese tart relies on store-bought puff pastry for an easy shortcut. The rolled out dough is topped off with crumbled goat cheese, slices of roasted beets, shaved fennel and walnuts for a creamy and earthy tart. I finish it off with a bit of orange zest to brighten it up. It’s perfect for winter – the bright pink/ red color makes it a great festive Valentine’s day dish.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Trim the tops off the beets if needed and scrub completely. Drizzle the beets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Individually wrap each beet tightly in aluminum foil. Roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and let the beets cool. Rub the beets or use a pairing to peel the skins and discard. Cut the beets widthwise into ¼” (6.4mm) thick slices.
Keep the oven on. On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the puff pastry pieces into a 9×12 (23cm x 30cm) rectangle. Add to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the puff pastry all over with the egg wash. Bake the puff pastry until just golden brown and slightly puffed, about 15 minutes.
Spread the goat cheese over the top of the puff pastry, leaving a ½” (1cm) crust around the edges. Arrange the beets in a single layer over the top. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about an additional 15 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the remaining olive oil and orange juice. Toss with the fennel.
Top the baked beet and goat cheese tart with the fennel salad, orange zest and walnuts. Cut into squares and serve.
While I recommend baking the tart fresh for the best flavor and texture, the beets can easily be roasted and sliced up to 3 days in advance. Peel the beets then store them refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to assemble the tart. Return the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
Beets have a habit of staining anything they come in contact with (a signature reddish/pink hue), so I recommend wearing gloves and/or an apron.
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