In the spirit of celebrating the “transitional season” and embracing what we have available local to us right now this meal of overwintered beets paired with local lamb, fresh eggs and a lovely spelt flour crust made with local grains is about as light and refreshing of a meal as we’ll get this time of the year.
Spelt Flour Crust
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups spelt flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3-5 tablespoons ice water
- 2 medium sized beets cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped
- olive oil
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- hefty pinch of salt
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- flakey sea salt for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cube the cold butter into 1/2-inch dice with a sharp knife and place it in the freezer to cool back down after handling. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse 12-16 times or until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with a few pea sized pieces of butter remaining. With the machine running, gently pour in the water. Pulse until the dough begins to form a ball, (it may still be crumbly and that’s okay as long as when you pinch it, the mixture holds together). If it seems too dry, add a touch more ice water. Do not overmix.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic or beeswax wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 15-20 minutes.
- On a lightly flowered work surface roll out the dough into approximately a 12-inch round and then press it into a lightly greased 10-inch pie pan. Fold the overhang under and crimp the edges. Line the crust with parchment paper and layer with pie weights or dried beans and pre-bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 450F.
- Toss the beets and onion with a little olive oil to coat and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and give them a good toss. Roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes, tossing the veggies halfway through cooking. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375F.
- In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat add a little olive oil and then the lamb, dried parsley, pepper flakes, nutmeg and a hefty pinch of salt. Cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat a bit, until the lamb is no longer pink and cooked through. Add the roasted beets and onions to the lamb and mix well.
- Scoop the lamb/beet filling into the pre-baked crust (after removing the pie weights or beans) and pour in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle with goat cheese and parsley. Place back in the oven until the eggs are set and the crust is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.