Serve this beautiful and absolutely scrumptious appetizer to your guests, then sit back and enjoy the compliments. Try golden and red beets together for dramatic color contrast.
2 medium beets, unpeeled, well-washed, and with 1inch of stem attached
8½-inch slices of whole wheat Italian bread, or a baguette
8ouncesgoat cheese, soft or semi-firm
2leaves basil, torn
24-inchchives, snipped into ½-inch pieces
2tablespoonswhole milk or heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
1tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1tablespoonwhite truffle oil
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, covered, over high heat. When the water reaches a boil, add the beets, cover, and cook for about 30-45 minutes, depending on size, until fork-tender. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. After the beets have cooled, peel the skin from them using your fingers or a peeler. Slice the beets into about ½-inch slices, then cut the slices into about ½-inch cubes so you’ll have small to medium dice. Turn the cubed beets into a bowl. Set aside. You can refrigerate them for a day in advance.
Arrange the oven rack on the top rung, closest to the broiler. Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange the slices of bread, cut side down in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Broil the bread to toast each side, about 1 minute per side, until medium brown but not burned. Set aside. If not using immediately, cool to room temperature, then store in a container in a dry place for up to a few days. Place the goat cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the torn basil leaves, the snipped chives, and the milk or cream. Grind alittle black pepper over the top. Cover and process for about 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy and well blended, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Taste for seasoning. Turn this mixture into a small bowl and set aside, or refrigerate for up to a day.
When ready to assemble the bruschetti, drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the cubed beets. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat. Taste for seasoning.
Spread the goat cheese mixture over the toasted bread, dividing the cheese among the 8slices. Spoon the beets evenly over the cheese. Drizzle each with alittle truffle oil. Serve immediately.