- 9–10 large assorted beets; we used red, golden and white beets
- ⅔ cup blanched and roughly chopped beet greens - use those attached to the beets; if the beets do not have greens attached, substitute with Swiss chard, chard or spinach, fresh or frozen, thawed
- 1 cup cornmeal, fine grind (regular)
- 4 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated, about 1½ cups
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt or ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ⅓ cup milk, whole or 2%
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Few grinds of fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
- 2 large garlic cloves, put through a press
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- Pinch of dried thyme
- Large pinch dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the greens: Prepare beet greens by cutting the greens off the beets, leaving 1-inch of the stems at the top of the beets. Do not remove the beet tails. (Doing this will keep most of the color from bleeding out of the beets as they roast.) Wash the beet greens thoroughly in a large bowl of cold water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a large pinch of salt. Add the beet greens. Blanch the washed greens for one minute, then scoop them out and place them in a bowl of ice water to cool. When cool, squeeze the greens to remove as much water as possible. Roughchop the greens. Remove any excess water. Measure 2⁄3 cups for the recipe, and set aside until needed in the recipe. This can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated overnight.
For the beets: Heat oven to 400° and position an oven shelf to the middle. Scrub beets in cool water with a vegetable brush. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil, and place the washed beets on the foil. Cover the beets with another piece of foil and crimp all the edges to make a steaming packet. Roast the beets for 60-90 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. When beets are tender, remove them from the oven, open the packet and set them aside to cool. The beets take a long time to cool. You can do this step a day ahead, and refrigerate them whole.
For the crust: Reduce to oven temperature to 375° and generously spray a 9-inch tart pan, with a removable bottom, with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, add the cornmeal, cheese, salt, sugar (if you are using honey, add it with the wet ingredients), granulated garlic, and a few grinds of pepper to a large bowl and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, add the egg and olive oil to the milk, and whisk to combine. Make a well in the cornmeal and dry ingredients and add the milk/egg mixture. Toss gently to combine. Scatter the crust mixture over the prepared tart pan and press it to cover bottom and sides of the pan. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove par-baked crust from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet. The crust can be covered and stored at room temperature.
For the filling: Add the olive oil to a large saute pan, and cook the onions until caramelized or browned, over medium heat, stirring often. Add the garlic, the chopped beet greens, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Saute for a minute or so, then remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Starting with the white and golden beets, cut the tails and stems off the beets and slip off the skins. Cut the beets into .-inch slices, then cut out heart or other shapes with 2-.-inch and 1-.-inch heart shaped cookie cutters. (Save the scraps, wrapped in the refrigerator! They are delicious in salad.)
Place the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk them briefly. Crumble the goat cheese into the eggs and stir. Add the cooled beet greens mixture and the thyme and basil, plus salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Spread the filling over the bottom of the cooled crust, then arrange the beet hearts over the filling, being sure to overlap slightly and adding the small hearts to fill up and spaces between them. Alternate the colors to make it more visually appealing. Brush the beets with olive oil. Bake the tart at 375° for 25 minutes.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature. Great as is, but fab with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or vinaigrette. Store tart in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.