Rustic Beet Tart and Wilted Greens

BF_BeetTart2

 

 
A beautiful tart to add to the buffet table or serve as an appetizer. Try making a couple with different colored beets and you’ll be sure to wow the guests!

3 small (2 to 3 inch diameter) beets, any color, with the greens
½ package of frozen puff pastry, or equivalent of homemade
1 egg
¼ – ½ C half and half, whole milk or cream
3 – 5 ounces soft chevre style goat cheese, room temperature
Pinch of nutmeg- to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the greens from the beets, wash, remove thicker stems and set aside.

Scrub the beets. Place each beet on a small square of aluminum foil, wrap in the foil and bake at 400F anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your beets. They’re done when they are knife tender and can be pierced with the tip of a paring knife with ease. Once the beets are knife tender, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the beets cool, roll the puff pastry out until you have a rough 10-inch square. Transfer the square to a parchment-lined baking sheet or lined with non-stick foil. Roll in the edges of the pastry about an inch on all 4 sides so that you create pastry wall. Use a little water to seal the edges. You want to make sure that the custard doesn’t leak out when poured into the “shell”.

In a small bowl, mash the soften goat cheese with a fork or wire whisk. Add the egg and mix well. Slowly add the half and half, ¼ cup at first stir until you have a thick but pourable consistency. It should be no thinner than pancake batter, so don’t over pour.

Peel the skin from the beets and slice into rounds. You should get 5 or 6 rounds from each beet. Pour the custard into the pastry shell, then lay the beets on top, being careful not to overflow the pastry shell.
Bake at 400F until the pastry is golden, the custard is set, and the top is just a little brown, about 15 minutes.

About 5 minutes before you pull the tart out of the oven, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Roughly chop the beet greens and sauté them until wilted, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add them to the top of the tart, scattering loosely to distribute evenly. Finish baking a few more minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

 


Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup

ParsnipSoup (7)This rich, tasty pureed soup comes from the archives of Fine Cooking, with some of our own adaptations. Adrienne has made this using sweet potatoes instead of Yukons, with splendid results and if you are avoiding carbs on general principle, you can leave out the potato altogether. You may find that you have to add more broth or water at the end, after pureeing, in order to get the consistency just right. That’s because all these vegetables vary widely in how much juice they each contain — the fresher and younger the fruit or veggie, the juicier it will be and vice versa. Regardless, the meld of flavors here is just terrific and this will most certainly become a favorite winter soup. Demoed at Brookside and USBG in September 2014. Read More


Simple Poached Pears with Miso Butterscotch

pearsThe pears you can poach in any number of ways – this is perhaps the simplest. I vary the poaching liquid depending on what pears I use and what I’m in the mood for that day – so red wine, white wine, especially a slightly sweeter one such as a Moscato, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel – some combination of these might be incorporated at any given time. Try different pears too, though Bosc is probably the go-to just for superior texture once cooked. What doesn’t change is the incredible Miso Butterscotch sauce, below, which really sets these pears apart. Miso paste, a fermented bean paste from Japan, is available in nearly all supermarkets and certainly at Asian groceries. It’s sold near the tofu in the refrigerated section of the market or with the international foods in shelf-stable packaging. Either version is good, though Danielle prefers the refrigerated versions as the fermentation is fresher. The recipe is from Mark Bittman of the New York Times. This recipe was demoed at USBG September 11, 2014. Read More


Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse

white choc mousse

 

 

This is a rich dessert ideally served in expresso cups or small clear glass dessert cups. For a really special occasion, serve in chocolate shells. Decadent white chocolate and intense strawberry combine to make this one of your more memorable treats. Make it the day ahead for best results.  Use a chilled bowl to whip the cream to perfection. Adrienne demoed this in May 2014. Read More


Spinach Soup with Sumac and Feta

spinach soup

Sumac’s name comes from the Arabic word for red, which is the color of the spice, sumac, widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine.  It has a tangy flavor not unlike lemon but distinct.  You can find sumac at any good spice shop, such as Penzey’s, or markets that sell Middle Eastern or Indian ingredients.  You can also find it on line — there’s a link below in the ingredients list.  The spice comes from the sumac bush, which grows all over the world.  The type that is made into a spice is sweet sumac, or aromatic sumac.  The fruits are dried and ground into a powder. Poison sumac (there are more than 250 species of sumac)  is distinguished by white fruits rather than red or orange.  Poison sumac can cause an allergic reaction like poison ivy.  If you don’t have sumac for this recipe, substitute lemon juice and/or lemon zest.  This was part of our demo with a large class on a beautiful Wednesday at Brookside Gardens February 19, 2014. Read More