This super-easy goat’s cheese and beetroot puff pastry tart makes a great vegetarian starter or light lunch.
If you are ever faced with unexpected guests and need a tasty but super-easy starter to serve, this goat’s cheese and beetroot puff pastry tart is there for you. Anything using store-bought puff pastry is usually a good option if you are in a pinch and the good news is you can vary the toppings based on what’s in season. Any vegetable that cooks quickly like broccoli, asparagus or even squash (if you employ the microwave’s help) can be used here. But you can also use root vegetables like carrots, beets and parsnips by either pre-boiling them until just tender or by using pre-cooked ones. You can buy pre-cooked beets (not the ones pickled in vinegar) to speed this recipe up. But you can also roast them in the oven if you have a bit of time. Stick them in a roasting bag – I love those things – with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and they cook in about 30 minutes.
By the way, this recipe is a fine excuse to finally talk about my lovely Wusthof Classic Knife Set. which includes a 20cm cook’s knife, a 9cm paring knife and pull-through sharpener. If you chat with any chef they will tell you the one thing they value above all else is good knives. This is easy to dismiss if you have never had the pleasure of using quality knives before. But once you do you can never go back – funny how this is a lot like fine wine. A good knife is not just sharp, it has the right weight, fits in your hand just so and can cut your prep time down to half. It is a worthy investment and something that’s also worth preserving. Respect your knives, keep them sharp and avoid the dishwasher and they will reward you for years to come. The Wusthof knives are super sharp and perfectly balanced – an absolute pleasure to use. I am so happy with my set I hope to add to the collection soon. But don’t take my word for it. You can win your very own set of Wustof knives – check the giveaway at the end of this post.
- 1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry
- 3 pre-cooked beets not pickled sliced thinly
- *or follow cooking instructions in notes
- 200 g | 7oz goat's cheese crumbled
- 150 g | 5.2oz full-fat mascarpone
- 2-3 tbsp runny honey plus more to drizzle
- handful walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- a little olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- a little extra honey to drizzle on tarts before serving
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
- Mix the goat's cheese, mascarpone and honey together in a bowl.
- Unroll the puff pastry but keep it on the paper it is wrapped in. Place on a large baking tray and slice in half. Space the pieces slightly apart on the tray.
- Score a small border around the edges of each piece with a knife and then prick within the border with a fork.
- Bake for 14 minutes or until puffed and golden.
- Press the middle of the tarts to flatten. Gently spread the cheese mixture within the border of each tart - take care as the puff pastry is flaky and fragile.
- Add the beet slices and scatter with the walnuts. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve with a sprinkling of thyme leaves and a drizzle of honey.
If you can't find pre-cooked beetroot, place raw beets into a roasting bag, season and add a little olive oil. Seal the bag and cook for 20-25 minutes at 180C (350F) or until fork tender.