When I asked my friend what he did not like to eat, he said “Beets”. Beets are a misunderstood vegetable. As a kid I always got them boiled with little salt and pepper. Served this way they had an earthy taste that was not worthy of their majestic color and soft texture. They seemed lonely, just like a beautiful madam without her escort.
Exploring a market in Zurich, I came across a small Italian shop. They were offering burrata cheese for the degustation of curious shoppers like me. One bite and I was lost in a world of creaminess that not even the richest dessert could ever give me.
Burrata, as I see it, is the younger, naughtier sister of mozzarella. She is softer, richer and more adventurous to the mouth. However, she is also young and needs company.
Walking home with 200 grams of my new creamy friend, I started thinking what to do with it. Almost as a vision, the taste and color of beets came to my mind inviting me to put them together. Burrata and beets are one of those relationships you can’t see working at the beginning but once you give them a chance you know they belong together. This crostino is the perfect marriage between sweetness and creaminess. If a red velvet cake had a baby brother, this crostino would be it.
Wine tip: Prosecco or a dry Riesling
Beets & Burrata Crostini
- 2 medium red beets, washed and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 burrata (250gr.)
- 1 baguette or other crusty bread
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Peel and cute beets into small squares. Add the cut beets to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter some thyme leaves around and the balsamic vinegar and mix again. Roast until beets are tender and caramelized, 20 – 25 minutes.
Slice the burrata and add it to a bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper and mix until it becomes creamy. Set aside.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a grill pan. Add the sliced bread to the pan and grill on both sides. Once golden all over, remove from the heat.
Add a tablespoon of the burrata to the toasted bread. Top with one tablespoon of the roasted beets. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a few grains of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and decorate with fresh thyme. Serve warm or room temperature.