Roasted beet & fiddlehead tart

Roasted beet and fiddlehead tart

Here at the test kitchens of The Ordinary, we have teams of mad scientists working night and day to recreate recipes based on nostalgic tastes and aromas. Is there some smell that transports you to the time you were ten years’ old and you lay in a field with grass stains on your knees and the remnants of a butter brickle ice cream cone clinging to your sticky hands? Do you remember eating wasabi peas at a party in a beer-soaked attic that smelled of sun-baked wood and incense? Do you remember the time you carried a basket of tomatoes from your garden, on your lap, all the way to your seaside house, and the bright green smell of their leaves and vines mingled with scents of salty air and coconut sunscreen when you rolled down the window two blocks from your new home-for-the-week? We’ve got a recipe for you.

A few months ago we made a soup that tasted like the moment you wake up from camping. Viz…

Imagine, if you will, that you’re camping. You wake up in the morning and step out of your tent. Everything is damp and fragrant, and vividly glowing green. The ferns and grass and weeds are sweet and sharp, lemony and herbaceous. The smell of wet earth mingles with the smokiness of the embers from your fire of the night before.

Well, there was one thing missing from the occasion, and when we recently found bright beautiful fiddleheads at a local market, we knew we had to revisit the memory-of-camping. Let’s say this time it’s dusk. You’ve just been swimming in the river in the last warmth of the summer sun. You walk back along rapidly darkening trails, trampling ferns and weeds under foot, raising impossibly sweet scents that seem to surround you and cling to your wet skin. All around you the woods murmur with the secret life of busy summer bugs. A shivering breeze tugs at your damp clothes, so that when you reach your camp ground you’re glad to sit by a crackling fire that seems to smoke the changing light out of the damp earth.

We made that tart! It has a puree of roasted beets and garlic, mixed with all the spring (and summer) herbs we could find – thyme, rosemary, chervil, basil, summer savory. And smoked paprika warms the mixture. The fiddleheads are lightly boiled, and they add a lovely flavor and a little bit of texture to the tart. Delicious!!

Here’s The Ethiopians with Well Red. It doesn’t really have anything to do with beets, but I can’t get enough of them lately, and this tart is well, red!
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Fiddleheads!


Hellooooooooo!! Greetings from Shadfesterville. As I speak there’s a sea of people walking back and forth in front of my house. It’s shadfest! It used to be all about the fish, man. And then it was all about the art, man. And now it’s mostly about homemade soap and dog bandanas. It’s all good, though. An exciting weekend in our sleepy little town. I baked a ton of food to offer in our store, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by! And if you’re not, I’ll tell you all about it with recipes on Monday!!

So, not much time to write, at the moment, but I’m very very excited to have found fiddleheads. They’re so lovely. We ate them boiled till bright and tender-crisp, and tossed with a bit of butter and meyer lemon juice (yes, I will be putting meyer lemons on or in everything I eat until the bag is gone.) Then we chopped up some equally serpent-green castelvetrano olives and mixed those in. Bit of sea salt and pepper. Perfect!!

Here’s Desmond Dekker with the contagious Intensified Festival ’68.
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