Me and my never-ending supply of beetroot recipes, eh? Here's an incredibly simple recipe that I made on Monday night, when a computer guy came to fix some issues with our wireless rooter. These were perfect, as he could munch on those while fiddling with the router - they're just a mouthful or two each, you see. I'll be making them again for a movie night with girls on Thursday..
It's best to use those oblong red beets for this recipe, as they slice into even and beautiful thin slices. To bring out the natural earthy sweetness of beetroots, wrap them in foil and roast them rather than boil them. Assembling and baking the tartlets takes just under half an hour, as long as you remember to roast the beets in advance.
I'm using one of my favourite blue cheeses here, Finnish Valio Aura, which is a strong-flavoured blue-veined cow's milk cheese that has been aged for 6 months.
Beetroot & blue cheese tartlets
(Väikesed peedi-sinihallitusjuustu pirukad)
Yields about 20 small tartlets
300 grams ready-made yeasted puff pastry (i.e. Danish pastry)
1 to 2 medium red beets, oblong type
100 grams Valio Aura or other strong-flavoured blue cheese
egg, for brushing
Wash the beets and wrap in foil. Roast in a pre-heated 200 C oven for about an hour, checking for doneness by piercing a beetroot with a small knife. Cool, unwrap and peel (using your fingers, not a knife). Slice thinly.
Roll the Danish pastry into a rectangle, leaving it about 4-5 mm thick. Cut into small 5 cm/2 inch squares, then press a light circle inside the square (do not press too hard; I used a small shot glass - see photo here).
Place a thin beetroot slice inside each circle, top with a chunk of blue cheese and garnish with thyme leaves. Brush pastry edges with whisked egg.
Place the tartlets on a lined baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 200-210 C oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the pastry has risen and turned golden brown.
Cool and serve.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
A year ago I wrote about smoked salmon & spinach quiche that was inspired by my date with K. in Paris earlier last year. Two years ago I mused about the green vegetables I bought at Edinburgh Farmers Market - rather appropriately, as K. and I picked up a lot of wonderful fruit, berries and vegetables at Tallinn Central Market today.