5.22.2008

Truro hot house beets make a savory spring tartlet

At the Wellfleet Marketplace the other day, the produce special caught my eye. "Golden beets," it read. "Local, organic." I asked Paul for an explanation.

"A woman grows them in her hot-house in Truro," he said. I started to ask for a name, but he was already on to the next task in preparation for the upcoming weekend.

For $2.99, I took home nine of the gnarled yellow roots, each about the size of a kiwi. The fridge offered up a leftover ball of flaky pastry dough, and I set to work making a tartlet. With the beets boiling and the dough rolled out, I hand-pressed the crust into a flat-bottomed basin with a thick, short hem. I turned the oven up to 425, and put the shell in to pre-bake.

A quarter hour later a bite size savory tartlet sat on the table. Thinly sliced beets, a topping of caramelized onions, and a dollop of soft rosemary cheese from Shy Brothers' Farm filled the flaky crust to the brim. I cut a wedge, and sunk my teeth in for a taste of Truro earth.

SAVORY BEET TARTLET

Serves 1

Preheat oven to 425. Boil 2 small golden beets for 45 minutes.

Roll out a fist-sized ball of simple pastry dough. Place on a baking sheet and roll sides to make 1/3 inch rim. Pre-bake until barely golden, about 8 minutes.

While the crust bakes, caramelize several slices yellow onion. Peel beets and slice very thinly. Remove crust from oven and layer beets to top of rim. Top with caramelized onions, sliced thinly, and two crumbled thimbles of rosemary cheese from Shy Brothers' Farm, or local goat cheese. Return to oven to melt cheese, 2-3 minutes, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot or chilled.

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