Crostini are the perfect party starter. One or two bites of deliciousness…
A versatile vegetarian canape. Quite easy to adapt your portion size and enjoy it as a light starter by slicing your baguette into longer slices or selecting a slightly larger nice ciabatta and add some simple dressed greens on the side.
What you’ll need…
- 250 ml Balsamic Vinegar (or chardonnay vinegar if you have a yellow or striped variety)
- 250 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
- A few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
- 1 Whole garlic clove – peeled
- 1 medium or a few small beetroot (about 200gish)
- 1 x Baguette
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- 150 g Cream Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Cream
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated horseradish
- 1/4 bunch of chives
- Balsamic Flavour Pearls
- Freeze Dried Beetroot – crush
There are 3 things we need to prepare here, let’s get the beetroot on first as it will take a little while to cook. Once it’s on the go you will be able to get the rest happening.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and hard herbs in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn it down until it’s just gently ticking over. You need to reduce the liquid by around a quarter. Whilst its bubbling away pop on some food gloves and peel your beetroot. Next you need to slice it super thin. A mandolin is the easiest way if you have one or just a sharp knife if not. Scoop out the herbs and spices from your reduced vinegar. Add the sliced beetroot to liquid and gently simmer over medium heat until beetroot is tender and slightly sticky (10-15 minutes). (This can be prepared a few days in advance)
Slice the baguette and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt & pepper. Bake at 180c until lightly coloured and crisp. Set these aside.
Combine the cream cheese, cream, horseradish, lemon juice, chopped chives and mix until smooth. Season well. Pop it in a piping bag ready to use.
All of these components can be prepared days in advance. Just keep the toasted baguette slices in an airtight container so they stay crisp.
Ready to serve
Take a little paper towel and pop a few slices of the beetroot on to drain. Place your toasted baguette slices on a tray, pipe a nice mound of horseradish cream onto the baguette slices and top with a slice or two of glazed beetroot. Transfer them on to a serving platter then finish each with a sprinkle of freeze dried beetroot and a few Balsamic Flavour Pearls.
Now where did I put my glass of wine?
Until next time
from the Peninsula Larder Team
“Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won’t be invited to cocktail parties.”
― Oscar Wilde