Like a lot of self-proclaimed foodies, every so often there comes an ingredient or particular food that has me falling in love at first taste. Maybe it's particularly aromatic or has an incredible mouthfeel. One of which torrent foodie love affairs was with the Chioggia beet - also called the 'candy cane beet' or 'candy-striped beet' for it's beautiful and dizzying pink and white pattern.
The Chioggia beet is the darling of the farmer's market, but you will also be able to find it in specialty natural food stores like Whole Foods. Eat this beet raw, and you'll receive a serious punch of folates - 27% of your recommended daily value. Roast them, and you'll still benefit from the beet's glycine betaine content, proven to improve vascular health and lessen your risk of coronary heart disease.
The following is a recipe where the Chioggia beet truly shines - a French-style beet tart accented with creamy fresh herbs and a buttery crust.
MAKES 8 SERVINGS
Place the Chioggia to make a bed. Mix the egg replacer and soy creamer together and pour into the pie crust. Do not overfill. Place on a cookie sheet (in case it overflows while cooking), bake at 375F for 35 - 45 minutes or until nice and golden. For the crust, combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are pea-sized (or smaller) pieces of butter. Gradually pour the soymilk in, one tablespoon at a time while stirring the mixture. Grasp the dough (still in the bowl) and mix with your hands, gently. Place dough on heavily floured countertop, put flour over entire rolling pin surface and roll it out, gently until it’s about 1/4-inch thick and large enough for your pie pan. Carefully, with a spatula to keep the dough from sticking to the counter, roll the dough around the rolling pin then roll it out over the greased pie plate. Cut off excess fold 1" under and flute the edges with your fingers. Perforate the bottom of the crust to prevent it from bubbling up while it’s cooking. Bake at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes to let the crust set and before placing the raw beets.