Oh... look at that Hugh...
Yes. I know it's spelled hue. Indeed, these tarts have a beautiful, ruby hue. But that's not the Hugh I'm referring to in the title. I'm talking about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, cookbook author, food TV host, brewer, forager, hagus-maker and all around amazing food personality. If there's one guy that I want to grow up to be like, it's Hugh. He's basically my hero.
If you have no idea who I'm talking about, it's probably because he's not on The Food Network. Hugh lives across the pond and runs a cooking school called The River Cottage which was part of the inspiration for The Farm Cooking School. I wasn't kidding. I am really trying to be like this guy.
Hugh has written many cookbooks, all great, and a recent tome is dedicated to vegetables. It's called River Cottage Veg. Get it.
Shelley thumbed through and found an intriguing recipe that she's been adapting using the beets we get from Roots to River Farm. It's fantastic. -Ian
Baby Beet Tart Tatin
adapted from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg
Serves 6 to 8
3/4 pound puff pastry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound baby beets peeled and halved
1/4 pound peeled pearl onions
¼ cup parsley or celery leaves
Garnish: crumbled feta, optional
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to about ¼-inch thick and cut out 12 21/2-inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Put the rounds on a plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir in the cider vinegar, sugar, and some salt and pepper, then add the beets and onions (they will fill the pan snugly in one layer) and toss to coat. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven leaving the oven on.
Arrange the beets and onions in 12 (1/2 cup) muffin tins. Lay the chilled puff pastry on top, tucking the edges inside the muffin cups. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Let the tarts cool slightly in the muffin tins, about 15 minutes, then cover with a platter and invert onto the plate. Pour any juices left in the pan over the vegetables.
Scatter the parsley and cheese (if using) over the tarts and serve.