To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time; toss with a fork until flour mixture is just moist. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Roll one portion into a ball (about 5 ounces). Combine remaining 2 portions; roll into a larger ball (about 9 ounces). Gently press each portion into a 5-inch circle on plastic wrap. Cover with additional plastic wrap. Chill at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Remove greens from beets; discard stems. Chop greens; set aside. Wrap beets and potatoes in foil. Bake potatoes at 425° for 1 hour or until tender. Bake beets at 425° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until tender. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 400°. Peel and slice beets and potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beet greens, spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sauté 8 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Place spinach mixture in a large bowl. Cool completely.
Combine eggs and egg white in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Reserve 2 tablespoons egg mixture. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cheeses to bowl, stirring well.
Unwrap and place larger portion of dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle. Press dough into bottom and 2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of beets and half of potatoes over dough. Top with half of spinach mixture and half of cheese mixture. Repeat layers with remaining beets, potatoes, spinach, and cheese mixture.
Unwrap and place smaller portion of dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Place dough over filling; press edges together. Cut several slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape. Brush top of dough with reserved 2 tablespoons egg mixture. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until crust is browned. Let stand 10 minutes.
I made this for dinner and it's delicious! I made a couple of changes:-skipped beet greens and did a 16 oz bag of spinach-roasted potatoes and beets (I'd recommend peeling beets and potatoes beforehand) with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted each whole in the oven for about 45 minutes-added more fontina and parmesan cheeseRecommendations:-Add more spinach!-Add more cheese. Seriously. If I would do this recipe again, along with the above recommendations, I think I'd probably add a last layer of cheddar cheese before adding the top crust.
I didn't make the crust and used the microwave to soften the potatoes and beets. Then used a cast iron skillet which I warmed on the stove and finished cooking the eggs in the oven. This cut down the cook time significantly. I also added goat cheese. Yum! Turned out great!
This recipe is time consuming and may use every big bowl in your kitchen, but it's quite delicious and unusual and went over big as a first course to our Christmas dinner. It's a bit more ambitious than the recipes I usually tackle, and 45 minutes hands on time is totally unrealistic. I baked the beets and potatoes while I prepared the pastry for the crust, then let those two things cool off while I prepared the spinach mixture and the egg/cheese mixture. I was a little nervous about rolling out the dough and lining the pan with it, but it actually came together really easily and I had far less difficulty than I feared. Every subsequent step was relatively easy and a nice reward after the rest of it, and the thing baked up big and gorgeous, just as they say. The flavors of the golden beets, the beet greens and the gold potatoes complimented each other most gloriously, and everyone loved this torta. It's a lot of work, so make everything else simple, and you'll have a real treat.
I used red beets instead of golden and also substituted Muenster cheese and this dish very bland and bitter. I followed the recipe to a tee and it took almost three hours to make!! Needless to say, I won't be making it again.
Yummy crust and good texture. Very pretty as well. I substituted Swiss cheese because that's what I had on hand and added an extra egg. I also thought it needed salt. I think it would be good with any veggies you have on hand.
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