This is what I call changing tactics! One of the reasons why this unusual, although no less suggestive, beetroot tart is here today is that with this recipe, I am participating in the “Reto de Septiembre de Cocineros del Mundo en Google+” (Cooks of the World in Google+ September Challenge) in the Savoury section. I have never participated in any of the food challenges so often held in the blogosphere before, but this time something aroused my curiosity. On the one hand, the proposed ingredients, beetroot or beef, aren’t exactly customary around here. Even so, turning on the oven is really my thing; therefore, no matter whether it be sweet or savoury, the idea is to keep at it.
This beetroot tart, in spite of its somehow special ingredients (at least, among our daily home store), is actually a real experience, a delight for our palate. But that’s not all; it can be a picnic-perfect companion or even that dish that people will always remember you for if taken to a party or meeting. They surely will be enthralled and will keep on talking about that sensational beetroot tart (and about you) forever and a day.
But there are other reasons. Perhaps the main one being my total fascination with Aran Goyoaga’s food blog, Cannelle Et Vanille. She started with her blog, which is full of awesome recipes —all gluten-free—, a little over six years ago, even though I discovered her through Instagram comparatively recently. The fact is that there isn’t any food intolerance at home, but the blog is so beautiful, the photos —simply impressive— are so fresh that is such a pleasure to stop by every now and then and see what Aran is up to.
Even so, to tell the truth, I must admit that this is the first time I’ve tried any of her recipes, so this opportunity was simply the perfect excuse (I’ve lost count of the times that I have admired this tart completely captivated). I found it impossible to stumble upon baby beetroots, and I’ve been around to all of the greengrocer’s, food markets and supermarkets before facing the fact: if what I want are baby beetroots, I will have to grow them myself (although that would be a different story to tell in another post). Thus, I have slightly adapted Aran’s recipe using regular fresh beetroots and the outcome, though not so colourful, has been pure bliss.
I really hope you like it as much as we did!
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 g) brown rice flour
- ? cup + 1 tablespoon (70 g) buckwheat flour
- ? cup + 1 tablespoon (60 g) tapioca
- ? cup + 2 tablespoons (50 g) finely ground hazelnut
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground chia seeds (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ? cup + 1 tablespoon (160 g) unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 5 - 7 Tablespoons (75-105 ml) ice water
- 3 medium fresh beetroots (about 16 oz / 460 g)
- 3 medium purple potatoes (about 11 ½ oz / 330 g)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 clove garlic
- 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
- A pinch of salt (to taste)
- A pinch of ground black pepper (to taste)
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 ¾ oz (80 g) grated Gruyère cheese
- In a large bowl, whisk flours, tapioca, hazelnut (finely ground), chia seeds (if using them), black pepper and salt until totally combined.
- Add cold, diced butter, and mix with a pastry blender (or two knives) until totally combined with dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a lot of sandy breadcrumbs.
- Now add gradually the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until breadcrumbs are just moistened (I generally don’t use all the water, but that will depend on the flour used and the humidity). Fold in the butter by hand until the dough holds together when pinching some of the crumbly mixture with our fingers. The dough should be smooth and elastic and should leave the sides of the bowl clean easily.
- Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and flatten slightly. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
[Meanwhile, we can start preparing our tart filling. See below.]
- Once our dough is refrigerated, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface (preferably cool), dust the top of the dough with some more rice flour and roll it with a floured rolling pin into a rough rectangle about ¼-inch (0,5 cm) thick. To prevent dough from sticking to the work surface, roll it out between two parchment paper sheets. (If the dough is too cold and hard to manipulate right from the fridge, let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes before rolling it out.)
- Cut the dough into a rectangle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pan and place it on a baking sheet previously lined with some parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate again for 30 minutes more. (Do not throw the dough scraps away yet; we could need them later.)
- While our dough chills, preheat oven (electric) to 400ºF / 200ºC.
- Wash, peel and slice beetroots and potatoes about ¼-inch (0,5 cm) thick. Scatter the slices all over a greased baking sheet and oil them with a tablespoon olive oil.
- Season with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper and bake for about 30 minutes (it is possible that potatoes will get tender before the beetroot do). Remove from the oven as they soften and place on a platter trying not to mix them so that the beetroots do not stain the potatoes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium frying pan over medium heat with the remaining olive oil. Add onion and fennel (cut into julienne strips), garlic clove (finely chopped), and thyme leaves (get rid of central sprig). Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste and sauté frequently for about 10 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized.
- Finally, add balsamic vinegar, stir and set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven temp to 375º F / 190ºC and place baking sheet in the center position.
[Go back to the dough. See above (point 5).]
- Place potatoes and beetroot slices tightly alternating on the bottom of a rectangular pan* about 14 x 5 x 1-inches / 36 x 13 x 3 cm (preferably, with a removable bottom) until they cover the whole surface.
- Spread the caramelized onion and fennel mixture evenly over the roasted vegetables and dust with the grated Gruyère cheese.
- Remove the rolled out dough from the fridge and prick the surface repeatedly with a fork. Place it on top of the cheese layer and tuck the edges into the pan so that they fit perfectly and seal the tart. We may make use of the dough scraps to either refill or seal any area if necessary; this dough is very pliable.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate and unmolding.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Be careful when inverting and unmolding this tart; crust is really fragile and even more if hot. So use your gentlest hand and stay focused.
- In case there were a few dough scraps left, shape them into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and foil and freeze it for up to 2 months; you never know if you will need them in a near future.
Recipe slightly adapted from Cannelle et Vanille Beetroot Tarte Tatin and a rainbow of colors