Is it just me, or does the advent of summer put you the mood for happy hour too? Potentially even a daily happy hour. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? ;)

I suppose that, technically, happy hours are called happy because of the inclusion of alcohol, but I think they’re happy in so many other ways. It’s a celebration of porches or patios! And evening breezes! And of the fact that you can laze about for an hour (or two) after work, enjoying some ridiculously buttery cheeses and crisp breads and a little glass of wine, and it will still be light out when you get around to dinner!

Joel and his parents joined us in Minnesota late in the week last week. And, on Friday we decided to have a little happy hour for them to introduce them to all the neighbors and welcome them to the north country. (It was the least we could do, given the weather certainly wasn’t being cooperative or welcoming. Their airplanes had to be diverted to the Twin Cities because Duluth was too foggy for landing. And then they wound up getting bussed up north at 3 am. Uffdah!)

As we were vaguely planning the happy hour (a good happy hour really shouldn’t take more than the vaguest of planning, otherwise you’re working too hard and it just isn’t as happy) my mother turned to me and said, “Oh, I have some beets that need to get cooked. Will you make something with them?”

“Sure, I’ll make a flatbread or something.”

It was an innocent enough promise, but then I discovered that my mother included the fact that I was going to make a fancy flatbread in her message to the neighbors telling them to come over. We got home from some errands just a half hour before people were set to arrive and my mother casually mentioned, “everybody’s going to come because I said you were going to make something and they’re all excited to eat it.”

Huh? I thought they were coming over because they were excited to see me, and Joel, and meet his parents! (Which in fact was the case, but you know, good food never hurts.) I needed to action this flatbread!

I decided it would be a better idea to make a tart because a) the crust is quicker to make than a flatbread and b) the crust is full of butter and is flaky and delicious and it practically doesn’t matter what you put on top of it because the flaky butteriness will make it taste phenomenal.

Okay, that’s maybe a slight exaggeration. You do need to think a bit about the combination of things that you will put on a tart to be sure they go together. I knew I was using beets – which I thrust into the oven to roast while the dough for the crust chilled – so I decided to play it safe and pair it with goat cheese. Earthy sweet beets with creamy, tangy chevre is always wonderful.

Looking through the cupboards, I found some dried figs. Figs also go well with chevre, I thought, why not add some in? I also grabbed the balsamic vinegar and made a quick little syrup to pour over the finished tart. Then I finished it with a handful of chopped mint, cool and pungent. (And Joel decided to document the whole process on my camera, which was fun!)

I paraded the tart out to the group of friends who had assembled around the picnic table and were chattering and laughing as animatedly as a flock of birds. We refilled the wine glasses, passed the tart around the table, and I instantly got several requests for the recipe.

I suppose because beets can be messy and stain one shouldn’t really serve them to guests. But, then, the same could be said of red wine. And truly, stains wouldn’t have mattered the least in that crowd of old friends – plus a couple new. It was one of the happiest hours I’ve spent in a while.

Tart with beets, figs, and chevre

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbs. cold butter (like, really cold, I actually used butter that was frozen), cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3-4 Tbs. ice cold water
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt to combine. Then, pulse in the butter chunks until you have a mixture that is a coarse meal that still has pea sized pieces of butter in it.
  2. Pulse in the vinegar and the water one Tbs. at a time until the dough just starts to come together. Then, turn it out and press it into a ball with your hands.
  3. Flatten the ball of dough into a thick disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. You can prepare the beets while the dough refrigerates

Beet and fig tart

  • 3 medium beets
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • tart dough (from recipe above)
  • 6-8 oz. chevre (soft goat cheese)
  • 1/3 cup dried mission figs, stems removed, sliced into thin pieces
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint leaves
  1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Wash and peel the beets, then slice them into rounds that are about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Toss the beats with a splash of olive oil. Spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (you may need to use 2 baking sheets) , then sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool briefly.
  3. Turn the oven down to 400F. When the tart dough has chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 1/4 inch thick (or a bit thicker). It can have ragged edges, that’s fine, but fix any cracks by pressing the dough together with your fingertips.
  4. Crumble the chevre into small chunks (this is a slightly sticky process) and sprinkle half of the cheese onto the tart crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the sliced figs on top of the cheese, then follow this by layering on the beets (still leaving a 1-inch border). Sprinkle the rest of the chevre on top.
  6. Fold over the edge of the tart, toward the center, folding and overlapping the dough to keep it circular-ish. Slide carefully onto a baking sheet (if it is lined with parchment paper, it makes things – especially clean-up – easier) and bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  7. While the tart is baking, put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer, then cook until thick and syrupy and reduced by about three-quarters, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  8. When the tart is finished, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Before serving, drizzle the balsamic syrup all over it and sprinkle the mint leaves on top. Slice the tart into thin slices to serve as an appetizer. Or have bigger slices accompanied by a green salad for lunch or dinner.
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28 Responses to A happy hour beet and fig tart

  1. chaoscuisine says:

    Can’t wait to try this…I munch on dried figs almost daily, and chevre is practically a staple. So combined with the color and texture (and taste) of beets, how can one go wrong?!

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      One cannot, I think! Also, dried figs are amazing, aren’t they?! I wish I kept them around more often to munch on. They’re a great snack idea.

  2. This looks awesome, Emily! I’m totally making this over the weekend!

  3. joel says:

    Those process pics didn’t turn out half bad!

  4. What a Wonderful rustic tart!!

  5. [...] I NEED to make this Fig & Beet Tart this weekend. It looks [...]

  6. I literally gasped out loud when I saw this. Beets AND figs?! In a tart? I’m officially in heaven. Love this recipe.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thanks! That’s pretty much how I feel about beets and figs too. Throw in chevre, and well, you’ve got yourself a tart!

  7. [...] Clickalicious A happy hour beet, fig and chevre tart @ Five and Spice Roasted baby potatoes with truffle salt @ Savory Sweet Life Tofu Scramble @ Flourishing Foodie [...]

  8. chaoscuisine says:

    It delivered all I expected and more…………YUM!

  9. Newbie says:

    This crust was AMAZING! WOW! Beets in a tart…I never would have thought of that. Do you ever use an egg wash on the crust? While absolutely delicious, it didn’t turn out as golden brown in color as I would have liked.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      I do sometimes use an egg wash. I skipped it on this tart, in part because of a lack of eggs, and then I didn’t put it in the recipe because I thought the tart was fine without it. But, you’re absolutely right, it does help brown it up beautifully, and is a good idea to include.

  10. Newbie says:

    Thank you Emily! One other question- can I make extra dough using this recipe and freeze it for future use? If so, does it bake up the same? Sorry for such basic questions- your recipe has knocked the socks off of me and my family!!

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Those aren’t basic questions at all, they’re great questions! And, it’s always better to ask, I say. You can definitely make extra dough and freeze it. Pat it into a disc, like you would for chilling it in the fridge, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You might then also want to put it in a freezer bag, to guard against any freezer burn. Then, when you want to use it, you’ll have to take it out of the freezer and let it soften for a while at room temp before you roll it out. You want to it to be soft enough to roll, but still chilled to the touch. So happy you guys loved the tart! :)

  11. Newbie says:

    Can’t thank you enough Emily!

  12. [...] to make blinis and gougeres and futz futz futz. And that was just no good. I found a recipe for a roasted beet and fig tart with goat cheese. Hmm. Rewind and wait. I can do a tomato tart too. Both use the same pâte brisée like the quiche, [...]

  13. [...] used this recipe as my base with some changes.  I don`t like dried figs, which this called for, so I just roasted [...]

  14. [...] and if the whole onion/gruyere combination isn’t doing it for you, there are plenty of other fillings to try. to wit: -butternut squash and caramelized onion: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/10/butternut-squash-and-caramelized-onion-galette/ -mushroom, leek and gorgonzola (Cooks Illustrated link above) -beet and fig: http://fiveandspice.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/a-happy-hour-beet-and-fig-tart/ [...]

  15. [...] little tart here was inspired by Five and Spice’s beet and fig tart (which we have also made, and it is fantastic as well).  While eating the [...]

  16. [...] je suis tombée sur une recette particulièrement inspirante sur le site de Five and Spice : « A happy hour beet and fig tart ».  Je l’ai refaite plusieurs fois, en apéro ou en entrée et je suis toujours aussi fan de [...]

  17. [...] (Recipe can be found on the Five and Spice site here.) [...]

  18. Kayelle says:

    would it be impossible to make the dough? I would love to make this for thanksgiving, but I don’t have a food processor and was wondering if you had any tips to making it work without one. Thanks!

    • Emily says:

      You can absolutely make the dough without a food processor. Just use your fingers to work in the small chunks of butter until you have a coarse meal with pea size chunks of butter. Then, stir in the rest of the ingredients and proceed from there!

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