This simple bruschetta hardly needs a recipe. I love it not only for its flavor and burst of color, but for the way it takes the lowly humble beet and turns it into a rock star. Simple flavors come together deliciously for this seasonal bruschetta. The creamy base is a mixture of goat cheese and cream cheese, which gives the goat cheese a little extra lusciousness. Beets are blanched, diced, and tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil ribbons…and the combination, to my palate, is just right. This earthy seasonal appetizer is the perfect bite for your upcoming holiday party.
I write a monthly column for our local paper called The Seasonal Kitchen- featuring seasonal produce and recipes to go along. This month, I focused on “roots”. For weeks now I have been contemplating roots, experimenting with them and creating new recipes. The one thing that I find so amazing about these stodgy looking guys, once you get past outer appearances are their brilliant hues, and incredible flavor.
For faster blanching, cut beets in half. When selecting beets at the market, choose ones that are similar in size and no bigger than a tennis ball.
I like adding cream cheese to goat cheese to give it an extra creamy texture. Warm both in a microwave and mix equal parts together. If you are like me and don’t have microwave, warm in your oven or toaster oven, just until soft enough to mix.
Blanch the beets, and slip off their skins under the faucet. Dice finely.
A little red onion or shallot gives the bruschetta a little flavor and texture.
To make basil ribbons, stack basil leaves and roll up tight, then thinly slice.
Mix some basil in the beet mixture and save some for the top.
A tip: using the tip of a butter knife, make a little “trough” with the cheese, so the beet topping stays in place.
Place beet mixture in the center in the trough.
Serve on a cutting board or white platter.
3 medium sized beets ( tennis ball sized) halved
1 baguette, sliced at a diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices
Olive oil for brushing bruschetta
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic
10 basil leaves – cut into ribbons
1/8 C finely diced red onion or shallot
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400F
In a medium put, cover halved beets with water and boil until just tender, about 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, slice baguette into 1/2 inch slices at a diagonal. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a sheet pan in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside.
Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a bowl and either warm in a microwave until just soft enough to combine easily with a fork. ( I place the bowl in my toaster oven on low). Mix with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
When beets are fork tender, drain pot, refill with cold water and slip skins off the cooked beets under running cold water using your hands. Dice into small 1/3 inch cubes and place in medium bowl.
Add finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil and balsamic -stir to combine.
Assemble: Spread a little goat cheese mixture on each bruschetta creating a “trough” ( to hold beet mixture in place) and top with a Tablespoon of beet mixture. Garnish with a few basil ribbons. It’s really nice to served when the goat cheese is still a touch warm. Serve on a white platter to show it off, or a rustic cutting board.
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 50 mins Yield: 25-30 bruschetta