6 young beets with tops, gently scrubbed
1 Tb lemon juice
4 frozen puff pastry shells (available from Pepperidge Farm in frozen bread section)
2 Tb organic butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk, warmed
3 Tb prepared pesto
3 Tb crumbled blue cheese
1 cup gently packed arugula
salt & pepper
2 Tb walnuts or pine nuts, toasted and chopped
1 Tb chopped fresh basil (optional)
Cut off beet tops, leaving 1″ of stems attached to bulb. reserve greens. Put beets in medium saucepan and add water to cover. Add the lemon juice or vinegar. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until the beets are just fork-tender, about 20-30 mins. When cool, trim off beet stems and roots. rub off skins if they are thick. Finely chop beets and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400. Put pastry shells on a baking sheet with tops on. Bake until puffed and golden, 20-25 mins.
Melt butter over medium-heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking constantly to break up any lumps. Cook and whisk until thickened and simmering, 3-5 min. Stir in pesto and blue cheese. Add beets and arugula. Cook until arugula is just wilted, about 1 min. Salt and pepper to taste.
Put hot pastry shells on small plates. Remove tops and spoon filling evenly into each shell. garnish with walnuts and fresh basil. Makes 4.