Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Crostini

Wednesday night was a busy night; Bryan was podcasting and I was had plans to stop by my parents house for appetizers before heading to a friend's house for dinner. I was in charge of making appetizers for both, so I went the crostini route. I had some roasted beets from the night before, goat cheese, lemon, tarragon and a baguette, so I knew there could be a fantastic crostini in the works.

I found a recipe in Cooking Light for a goat cheese and beet crostini; it was perfect! I sliced and toasted the crusty bread, mixed goat cheese, minced garlic, tarragon, lemon juice, zest and salt and pepper and spread it on each slice of bread. Then I glazed the sliced beets with a truffled balsamic reduction that we brought home from Italy, layered them on the cheese spread and added a tarragon leaf for garnish. One bite and I knew I had a winner; the tang of the goat cheese and lemon zest worked beautifully together as a base, while the sweetness of the beets mixed with the truffled balsamic glaze took the flavors to a whole new level.

Beet & Goat Cheese Crostini
Armed with the knowledge that beets can be really polarizing – either you love them or you hate them – I made an alternative Caprese-themed crostini using Campari tomatoes and slices of water mozzarella. I even topped the tomatoes with the balsamic glaze and chopped tarragon for some flavor flair (recipe and photos coming soon). These are great, fast (minus the time it takes to roast the beets) appetizers that are packed with flavor and sure to be a hit at your next dinner party! Here's the recipe...

Beet & Goat Cheese Crostini

For the beet topping:
  • 3/4 pound beets (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the cheese spread:
  • 1 (5-ounce) package goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 24 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted
To make the beets: Preheat oven to 375°. To prepare beets, leave root and 1 inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish; add 1 cup water to dish. Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Cut beets lengthwise into quarters, and cut each quarter crosswise into 9 (1/8-inch) slices.

Roasted and sliced beets
In a medium bowl combine the vinegar, rind, juice, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add beets; toss gently to coat. To prepare cheese spread, combine goat cheese, mayonnaise, tarragon, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Spread each baguette slice with 1 teaspoon cheese mixture; top with 3 slightly overlapping slices of beet.

Combine goat cheese, garlic, tarragon, lemon juice/zest, salt and pepper

Spread goat cheese & tarragon mixture on each slice of toast

Assemble beet slices on crostini

The result? A delicious appetizer for the beet lovers in your life!

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