TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much money you can save — and fun you can have — by cooking these dishes at home!
This week: Fresh Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Walnut Tart, from Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston, Mass.
Boston's four-star Hamersley's Bistro, located in that city's trendy South End, was created to give guests the experience of dining in a French country restaurant. Chef-owner Gordon Hamersley's recipe for Fresh Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Walnut Tart is a classic example of that approach. He suggests pairing this tart with greens tossed with a bright vinaigrette or a slice as a side dish to grilled lamb chops.
About the chef:
Gordon Hamersley started cooking as a student at Boston University in the early 1970s and began his culinary career at various French restaurants in the Boston area. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles, where he trained at the famed Ma Maison under Wolfgang Puck before moving in 1982 to Nice, France. Cooking by day and dining in restaurants by night, Hamersley and his wife, Fiona, further absorbed nuances of French cuisine. A year later, they returned to Boston where Hamersley began working as sous chef to noted Boston chef Lydia Shire (Locke-Ober, Excelsior) at the Bostonian Hotel.
In 1987, the couple opened the original Hamersley's Bistro in a tiny storefront in Boston's up-and-coming South End. “We wanted our restaurant to be more like the informal, relaxed bistros in France that we felt ourselves drawn to again and again,” says Gordon. The restaurant was an instant success, and in 1993 they moved their restaurant into a larger space a few blocks down Tremont Street.
Hamersley’s has received enthusiastic attention from magazines and newspapers such as Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine and The New York Times and is consistently rated as one of Boston’s top four restaurants for food and popularity in Zagat’s Restaurant Guide. The restaurant has received four stars from both The Boston Globe and Boston Herald and has been inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame. Hamersley has been named one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs and has received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Northeast.
His first cookbook, “Bistro Cooking at Home,” won the International Association of Culinary Professionals 2004 Cookbook Award in the Chefs and Restaurants category.
(PLEASE NOTE: Ingredient prices are estimates and based on national averages. Amounts listed are for one portion. Increase proportionately according to number of portions desired.)
Fresh Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Walnut TartGordon Hamersley
($10.00 on the menu at Hamersley's Bistro. Cook-at-home cost is $6.55)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the beets and dry them with a paper towel. Place the beets in a small ovenproof pan. Drizzle beets with the olive oil, and season with kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork; about 1 hour. Allow the beets to cool. Peel the beets using a small knife and cut them into small cubes, about 1/2 inch thick on each side. Be careful, as beet juice can stain counters, towels and even your hands. (Use latex gloves if they are available.)
Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onion and a dash of salt, stir every few minutes until the onion is tender. Add the white wine and scrape the pan to loosen any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Remove the onions from the pan when the wine has evaporated. Toss the beets and onions together and place them into the blind-baked tart shell (see recipe below).
Whisk together the eggs and cream, season well with salt and pepper, then pour over the beets and onions. Allow the cream to seep down into the beets. Drop small, marble-sized pieces of goat cheese over the entire surface of the tart.
Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Drizzle with walnut oil, when it is available. Return the tart to the oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until middle sets up solid. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Allow the tart to rest for 5 minutes or more before serving. As the tart bakes, some of the beet juice will color the custard and the goat cheese, giving each slice a pretty, almost marbleized look.
Since the flavors are a riff on the classic beet, walnut, and goat cheese salad, this tart pairs especially well with greens tossed with a vinaigrette. A small slice of tart also makes a delicious side dish to grilled lamb chops.
91234053613231902beets33 small fresh beets ($1.25)olive oil1tablespoon1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.08)kosher saltKosher salt ($0.01)black pepperFresh-ground black pepper ($0.01)unsalted butter ($0.09)1tablespoon1 tablespoon unsalted butter ($0.09)onion11 medium onion ($0.35)dry white wine2tablespoon2 tablespoons dry white wine ($0.09)tart dough1 tart dough (see recipe below)eggs33 large eggs ($0.42)heavy cream0.75cup3/4 cup heavy cream ($0.26)goat cheese1cup1 cup fresh goat cheese ($1.98)walnuts1cup1 cup chopped walnuts ($0.89)walnut oil1tablespoon1 tablespoon walnut oil (optional)parsley2tablespoon2 tablespoons fresh parsley ($0.03)
553 Tremont Street
Boston, Mass., 02116
Want to find out how you can make your favorite restaurant dish at home? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.