Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beet Hummus, Goat Cheese, Mint Crostini (plus alternative version)

Beet Hummus, Goat Cheese, Mint Crostini

OK for those of you that don't know I have become quite the "beet advocate." In the past, I never really liked beets. I always felt that they tasted very "earthy." OK that is a bit of a lie, I always thought they tasted like dirt. But, as I explained in my Beets and Sweets post, I have really found some recipes that bring out the sweetness in the beets and this recipe does just that. I will say that the addition of lemon and garlic really compliments the beet taste. There is quite a bit of lemon zest and juice in this recipe which to me upped the freshness factor.

I was kind of skeptical about making this recipe for a group with differing palates, but I am happy to say that everyone at my summer party tasted and really loved it; even the beet haters in attendance said that if they did not know it was a beet they would have never guessed.  This appetizer really is a wonderful mixture of interesting tastes and texture. The crisp crostini was the perfect base for the creamy goat cheese and hummus and the mint was the perfect "summer inspiring" topping. Great with a cold glass of white wine.

And look at what beautiful all-natural color!

Beet Hummus, Goat Cheese, Mint Crostini

Beets in a blender...LOL

Beet Hummus

1/2 lb beets, scrubbed clean, cooked and peeled (about 4 medium size beets)
2 Tbsp Tahini sesame seed paste
5 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from about 2 lemons)
1 generous pinch of sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper to taste

A bee enjoying my fresh mint.

To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4 inch of water in a 375 degree oven and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled. You might want to have gloves for this because beets will stain your hands.

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Taste add seasoning as desired.
Chill and store in the refrigerator at least overnight to allow the flavors to come together. It can be stored in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen for longer storage. Makes 2 cups.

Recipe from Simply Recipes

A great contrast of flavors and textures

To Arrange Crostini

1 package crostini ( I got mine from Whole Foods) or you can make it
4 oz package of your favorite goat chevre
Fresh mint, julienned

Place all the crostini on a platter. Spread each one with a tsp of goat cheese. Place 1/2 Tbsp beet hummus on top of cheese and top with mint.

Alternative hummus basil appetizer

Alternatively, I made a platter of regular hummus crostini which was made in a similar fashion. It was my emergency back-up in case people bolted when I said "beet."  To make these, I bought pre-made garlic-lovers hummus. I then layered the crostini with goat cheese and hummus but this time I added fresh ground pepper and fresh julienned basil. Oh the smell of summer!

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