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Looking for a healthy appetizer option? Roasted Beet and Herbed Vegan Ricotta Crostini with homemade vegan ricotta “cheese” and balsamic drizzle for a fresh and fun appetizer. All of the flavors and textures make for the perfect bite.
Can we just discuss the fact that roasted beets are basically candy?
Okay, maybe not for beet naysayers, but for me, a good roasted beet is everything! The natural sugars make it sweet and caramelized, the roasting process makes them taste less earthy, and the comfort factor is next level, while keeping things vitamin-packed and nutritious.
Fair warning: What you’re seeing in this post is a highly addictive substance. Proceed with caution. Or vigor.
So basically what I did was make a cracked-out crostini with some toasted baguette (you can 200% go with a gluten-free baguette), topped with my roasted beet candy, some homemade vegan herbed “ricotta”, and a balsamic drizzle as well as a honey drizzle.
I don’t do crostini often (mostly because I rarely think about bread), and this particular crostini has become an actual staple in my appetizer life. Which we all know is saying a lot, because I’m super not into appetizers…I’m the captain of Team Large And In Charge Meals.
Regardless, this crostini is something to write home about. And then Instagram about. And then some.
Let’s talk details.
I chopped up some incredibly juicy beets and roasted them. Basic:
I used the concept of the Paleo Sour Cream and Onion Dip to make the “ricotta” for this crostini. Made with cashews, cooked cauliflower, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, the ricotta turns out tasting nice and creamy while being completely dairy-free with plant-based protein.
I toasted up some bread, made a little balsamic reduction, assembled everything, then fed my soul-face. Even the boyfriend got animated over the crostini!
Change-ups to the recipe? Use a gluten-free baguette to keep it allergy-friendly, and/or substitute the honey drizzle for pure maple syrup to make the whole thing vegan.
Fall/Winter appetizer? Check. Holiday gathering participation eats? Check. Football food? Check? Appetizers for dinner? Check. I think you know what to do from here.
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Roasted Beets Crostini:
1.5 tablespoons olive oil1 large red beet, washed and chopped1 large yellow beet, washed and chopped1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste1 large baguette, sliced and toasted
Vegan Herbed “Ricotta”:
1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight1 cup cauliflower florets, steamed1 small clove garlic, minced1/4 cup lemon juice1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk, see note*2 tablespoons nutritional yeast1 teaspoon sea salt4 large fresh basil leaves, chopped2 teaspoons dried oregano
Make the Vegan “Ricotta”
Place the raw cashews in a bowl and cover them with 2 inches of water. Leave on the counter to soak overnight. Strain and pat dry. Steam the cauliflower for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork. Add all ingredients for the ricotta to a blender or food processor. Start with ½ cup cashew milk (or almond milk) and use up to 3/4 cup if necessary. Note: adjusting the amount of nut milk determines the thickness of the ricotta. Blend until smooth, or until desired texture is achieved. I leave mine with a little bit of texture.
Roast the Beets:
Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Wash, peel, and dice the beets. Spread the chopped beets over a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Use your hands to toss everything together until the beets are well coated. Roast on the center rack of the preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes (or until beets reach desired doneness), stirring halfway through.
Make the Crostini:
Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of ricotta over toasted baguette slices. Top with roasted beets and drizzle with reduced balsamic and honey. Serve with a sprig of fresh basil on top.
*If necessary, add more cashew milk to help blend the mixture. You want the “ricotta” to turn out nice and thick and creamy. You can use unsweetened almond milk in place of cashew milk as well.
Yield 10Serving Size 1 Serving
Amount Per ServingCalories 198Total Fat 9gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 22gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 6g