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Beet Greens Tart by Melissa Rebholz

Beet Greens Tart

By Melissa Rebholz

Serves 6-8

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling pastry

1 teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed

1/3 cup cold water

1 egg white

6 ounces fresh cheese, such as ricotta, feta or chèvre, divided

two large eggs, plus one yolk

¾ cup heavy cream

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

1 bunch beet greens, blanched

salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.  Work butter into flour with a pastry cutter or by hand. (You read a lot about pea-sized pieces of butter when you’re making pie crust, but don’t worry about breaking the butter down uniformly, and don’t worry if the pieces aren’t pea-shaped. In fact, you’re looking for lots of layers of flattened butter between sheets of flour. That’s what makes crusts flakey.)

Make a well in the center of the flour and add the water to the well. Hold a fork toward the outside edge of the bowl and spin the bowl toward you while dragging the fork. When flour and water are just combined, and dough is beginning to come together (you can check by squeezing a handful of dough to see that it holds together) turn mixture out onto a clean work surface. Press and shape the dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Preheat oven to 300.

On a clean, floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8- inch thickness. Place dough in pan, and, instead of pressing into place, lift it up and place it down against the side and bottom. (Stretching the dough will cause it to shrink badly during baking). Trim excess dough with a knife or kitchen shears. With a pastry brush, brush a sheer layer of beaten egg over the entirety of the dough, then prick repeatedly with a fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes (but remove the tart crust from the oven before it takes on any color).

While you are par-baking the crust, prepare the tart’s filling. In a medium bowl, combine half of the cheese, the eggs, the cream and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine. 

Increase oven temperature to 350. Pour the mixture into the crust, top with blanched beet greens and the remainder of the cheese. Bake until center is just set, about 45 minutes. 

Serve hot or cold– for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

(from Crop Stories No.5)

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