You know that old jump rope jingle? The one that goes, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage!” As it turns out, that little song has a lot of truth to it.
Let me pause right here and say this: this is not a birth announcement. I repeat: I am not pregnant! I am merely commenting on the fact that a couple of years ago a bunch of my friends got married. You could say there was a flurry of weddings…
And now there’s a flurry of babies.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s an exciting time. Babies are simultaneously terrifying and adorable (and I love babies, even if I don’t totally understand them.) And while I am not yet on the baby bandwagon, I am extremely excited for all of my friends and family who are on that path.
That being said, this past weekend I helped throw a baby shower for friends of mine who are expecting a little boy. The shower was a group effort, with various friends providing beverages, decor, and nibbles. I volunteered to make three savory dishes for the shower, and I knew right away that I was going to make my Kale Apple Salad and this Brussels Sprout Dip. However, I was completely stumped on what to make for my third dish, so I googled “baby shower appetizers” and was completely and totally uninspired. Since the internet was totally unhelpful, I turned to the grocery store for inspiration. I wandered the aisles searching for appetizer ideas, and eventually stumbled upon a pretty little pile of golden beets. In that moment, I knew what I had to do: I had to make a baby shower appetizer that featured golden beets.
And, so I did just that.
If I may be so bold, I’ll admit that the crostinis were a hit. If you ever find yourself googling “baby shower appetizers”, I hope that you stumble upon this recipe.
- 4-5 medium sized beets (I used a mix of red and golden beets)
- 1 baguette
- 4 oz soft goat cheese (I used a goat fromage blanc)
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for the crostini)
- The juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- First, roast the beets (this step can be done ahead of time). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim off beet greens (reserve for another use) and wash the beets. Wrap each beet in foil and place in the oven. (I place the foil-wrapped beets directly on the oven rack, but you could place them on a baking sheet.) Cook until the beets are fork tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Once the beets are done, remove from foil and set aside to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Chop the beets into small cubes and season with a bit of salt & pepper. If making ahead of time, store the diced beets in a sealed container in the fridge until needed.
- To make the crostini, preheat the oven to 325 F. Slice the baguette thinly, and place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Brush each with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a touch of salt & pepper. Bake crostini, turning once, for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- To make the pesto, place the pistachios, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture just comes together. (I like the aesthetic of big chunks of green pistachios, so I am careful not to over-blend this particular pesto). Taste, and add more olive oil or lemon juice if needed. Season with a touch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Note: I do not recommend making the pesto a day ahead of time, as it tends to look a little ugly the next day.)
- To assemble, spread a thin layer of goat cheese on each crostini. Next, spoon some of the pesto over the goat cheese. Spoon a small amount of diced beets on top of the pesto. If you’re feeling fancy, you could garnish with a drizzle of olive oil or some finely chopped fresh mint. Serve at room temperature, and enjoy!