These savory feta and beet mini tarts with yogurt and easy olive oil crust make the perfect appetizer for any occasion. The beet’s earthy tone, in cooperation with the salty feta and soothing yogurt, combine to create a unique harmonious flavor.
For the crust:
⅓ cup (80 g) olive oil
1 egg yolk
⅓ cup (80 g) Greek strained yogurt
1 tsp (wine or apple cider) vinegar
1 ¼ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
For the filling:
½ cup packed (100 g) Greek feta cheese
½ cup (120 g) cooked/baked beets
¼ cup (60 g) milk
1 egg white
1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
For the garnish:
Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).
Transfer olive oil, yogurt, vinegar and yolk to a bowl and mix well with a fork.
Add flour and salt and mix just until a ball of dough forms. Add 1-2 tablespoons of extra flour if dough is sticky.
Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Press dough into mini tart pans with your fingers to cover the pan bottom and sides. Pierce the dough surface with a fork and refrigerate for 10 minutes to cool.
Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until golden in color. (With this dough, pie weights are not necessary, though you can use them if you wish.)
In the meantime, transfer all the ingredients for the filling to a food processor, (a powerful blender may also work, though it may need some help with a spatula) and process until smooth.
Remove the baked tart shells from the oven and using a fork, press down any spots that have puffed up. Let them rest on a piece of kitchen paper. (If the pans have removable bottoms, some oil may escape).
Fill the tart shells, lower oven temperature to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 20 minutes or until filling is set.
Serve with a small dollop of Greek strained yogurt (or labneh), a couple of arugula leaves, crushed walnuts, a drizzle of olive oil and two to three drops of balsamic vinegar and eat!
If you make this recipe into one large tart, you’ll have to add 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
For an 8-9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan, you will need the same quantities for the crust & double the quantities for the filling.
For a 10-12 inch (25-30 cm) tart pan, you’ll have to double the whole recipe. (You may end up with some extra dough. Don’t throw it away! Mix it with 1-2 tablespoons of grated cheese and bake some savory cookies!)
WORDS + PHOTOS: Makos Koukakis
Makos Koukakis was born and raised on the island of Crete, Greece. Growing up in a home where food played a major role, he learned to appreciate the value of the Mediterranean diet, considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. He sees cooking as a form of contemporary art. With a focus on Mediterranean cuisine, Makos creates one pan recipes, healthy dishes and some gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian recipes. He uses local, seasonal vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices, and of course olive oil. Two of the things he loves the most are the smell of a yeasty dough while it rises, and the taste of a freshly baked bread. Oh, and chocolate.