Parmesan & Thyme Bites with Roasted Yellow Beet

Parmesan Thyme Bites 01

It’s funny, the things that sometimes trigger the creation of a recipe. The way this one came about had nothing to do with the actual food at first. I saw a picture on a Williams Sonoma blog post where a server held a silver tray with appetisers. My thought was: Oh, I need to use one of my many silver trays for a food shot.

The next thought was that I wanted it to be something bite-sized, and that it needed some kind of colour, preferably yellow. This from me, who avoids yellow at all cost if possible. And so, piece by piece, this recipe came to life.

For two years I’ve been reading about yellow beets in food blogs, but it turned out yellow beets are not something you can get here. Three weeks ago at the city market I looked at a root vegetable at a stall, the owner looked at me like she thought I would grab it and make a run for it. Without much hope I asked whether it was yellow beet by any chance. She said it was and that they always carry it. I was happy and that seemed to make her happy.

Parmesan Thyme Bites 05

In my head I started creating little puff pastry bites, and the finished product was almost exactly what you see here. I knew the pastry wouldn’t stay flat so I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it after baking. I thought of making an indent before baking them but decided to wait and see what would happen.

The only thing I had intended to do differently was to mix the mascarpone or cream cheese with creamed horseradish. Only when I opened the fridge this morning I realised I didnt’ have any. So I mixed together the mascarpone and cream cheese instead. It tastes really good that way, but I will still try this with horseradish another time because I want some zing in there.

Parmesan Thyme Bites 04

The overall result is something that I definitely would serve my guests as a starter. The puff pastry seasoned with parmesan and thyme, together with the cheese topping and the sugar, salt and pepper roasted beets are a great combination.

Note: I got the beets ready to go in the oven, but baked them after the pastry squares. This way you make the most of the oven heat and can prepare the cheese mixture in between.

Parmesan & Thyme Bites with Roasted Yellow Beet

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Roasted Beets

2 yellow beets
1 tsp olive oil
freshly ground salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp cane sugar

Peel beets, slice, then cut into very small cubes. Place on a small baking tray, pour over the olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and sugar, and mix well. Put aside until the puff pastry squares are done, then place in the already hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take out and leave to cool a little.

Parmesan Thyme Bites 03

 Pastry Squares

1 pack puff pastry (from cooler section, not frozen)
fresh thyme sprigs, leaves plucked
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Unroll puff pastry, then use a knife to mark a line down the middle widthways without cutting through the dough. Sprinkle one half with thyme leaves and grated parmesan cheese, then fold together. Roll out the folded dough to flatten it a bit; this might require some flour to be sprinkled on the dough as it can be sticky.

With a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out an even amount of squares or rounds, place them on a lined baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf at 180°C / 350°F in a fan oven (200°C / 400°F non-fan) for 15 minutes.

Leave squares to cool slightly, then cut open and leave to cool further.

Cheese Topping

175 g cream cheese
200 g mascarpone

While the pastry cools down and the beets are in the oven, mix the two cheeses well.

Parmesan Thyme Bites 06


Fill one half of the pastry squares with the cheese mixture, place the cooled or lukewarm beets on top, and place the other half of the squares on top.

You can also serve halves only, but you’ll need twice the amount of cheese mixture. This is also quite handy if your pastry squares get too dark in the oven. Serving only halves, the dark bits will be on the bottom and not visible.

If, like me, you have bits of dough left over and can’t be bothered to roll it out again, just form little balls from it, bake for about 10 minutes and serve as a snack, or snack on them while assembling the pastry squares 🙂 .

Parmesan Thyme Bites 07