Appetizers/ Fall/ Recipe/ Spring/ Vegetarian

Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with beet greens!)

Let’s talk about sex, baby. Okay, probably not.

But let’s DO talk about the new adventure I’m about to embark on! It’s not exactly sex related, but it is relationship-related and that’s close enough right? The tingly-toes feeling, the flirting, the bait and hook(up). More or less. Yes, let’s talk about that. And beet crostini.

The Food Blogger’s of Canada food blogging conference this coming weekend is ON and while I’m super duper stoked to be attending, I’m also a little bit nervous. And by a little bit, I mean I probably just pooped my pants thinking about it.

Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!) Recipe -

I know, I know. Everyone is nervous at these kinds of things but let me explain. Nay, let me bitch and wine whine moan for exactly 1.6 minutes. Because sometimes, ya just gotta let it out.

I spent 10 years working in the restaurant industry. I became a master(bater) at social gatherings. How to say hello and shake hands effectively, how to ask questions about a person without falling into the traps of “so what do you do” and “how do you know XYZ”, and how to make an exit, gracefully. Except maybe when it came to the actual exit. I suck at walking. If there’s a bench or a wall or my right foot nearby, you can pretty much be guaranteed that I’ll walk into it, over it, through it, on it. I’m a physical mess. War wounds, I call ’em. War wounds.

Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!) Recipe - SheEats.caSweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!) Recipe -

Since leaving the restaurant industry, I’ve become something of a recluse. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. I DID speak at a food blogging conference last year. I attend plenty of media and trade related events. I also still have real life friends I see on a regular basis and I’m always more than happy to meet the bf for drinks or go see a show. So I’m hardly a hobbit (I’m not sure why hobbits in my mind don’t leave the house, but they don’t). But when it comes to face to face, in person meetings, I get all ants-in-my-pantsy.

Maybe it’s because all of my business is conducted over the internet. Maybe it’s because I’m so busy with work that if something can be dealt with over email when it’s convenient for me (and the other person), I’d rather handle things that way. Or maybe it’s simply because after a decade serving people and listening to their complaints about how their wine glass has finger prints on it (uh, hello, you DID just have your dirty little paws on it, didn’t you?), my bullshit tolerance is basically zero.

Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!) Recipe -

Either way, I’m nervous as all get out. There’s going to be new friendships formed, old acquaintances reunited, brands to impress and lectures to learn from. What if I say “fuck” one too many times? What if I’m not skinny enough to be a food blogger (yeah right. hahahaha…). What if I miss a great opportunity because I was too shy to walk up and say hello? What if I actually do poop my pants? What if what if what if what if what if….. And even as I go over all this in my mind, I know I’m being ridiculous. I know that what ifs’ll kill ya. Fuck what ifs. Just take a deep breath, do it anyway, hope for the best, and see what happens. Chances are, what you imagine in your head, will never be what materializes. What if isn’t real.


Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!) Recipe -

The only saving grace for me (other than the Ativan I’m popping like jujubes – jk, jk) is the fact that I know in my heart of hearts that everyone I plan on meeting is going to be freckin awesome. Like, amazing. It’s rare that I get to be in a massive room surrounded by dozens, if not hundreds of people who are into food and writing and photography in the same ways I am. It’s not often I get to actually talk with (and probably hug because let’s face it, I’m a hugger) people in my industry whom I admire and respect and stalk on occasion. I know they’re going to be stellar. Or, put another way (because I’m in need of a seguey to get to today’s recipe and at the risk of sounding ultra-creepy) they’ll all be tenderly sweet.

Speaking of tenderly sweet…. (see how I did that?)

Is there anything more salt of the Earth than farm fresh, tenderly sweet, just picked beets?

You know, except salt. And maybe Texans.

But chances are, most good Texans don’t enjoy being plucked from their homes, chopped up and roasted to 425 degree oven perfection so we’ll stick with beets. And salt. Mmmm…. salt.

Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!) Recipe -

It’s true; I’ve shared my fair share of beet recipes on the blog. Some of which feature Roasted Hazelnut & Goat Cheese Beet Salad, Golden Beet Bruschetta, Moist (ew, I hate that word) Chocolate Beet Cake, and my absolute favourite, Scratch Garden Beet Gnocchi. You want something that’ll blow your socks off, I’m that’s your gal. I even published a whole podcast on beets. Yep, just beets.

And now we’re bringin this party round the ’bout for another bready, veggie dish because like all good round the ’bouts – the hokey pokey, the speedway, or a good & honest circle jerk – some things just never get old. Hence my Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!). There’s nothing much better than beet crostini.

…Btw, if you DO still want to talk about sex, here you go.

Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with greens!)




Yield 4 servings


  • 6 Medium Sized Beets with leaves still attached, farm fresh
  • 1 Lemon for juice
  • Handful of Walnut Pieces, toasted
  • 1 Ball Fresh Burrata, drained
  • Few Drizzles of Balsamic Reduction
  • Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coarse Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 C Chicken or Veggie Stock (optional)
  • 1 loaf of rustic tasty bread
  • Good Quality Flaky Sea Salt for serving (I like Maldon)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. As it heats, prepare the beets. Using a very sharp knife (and watching your tiny pretty fingers), cut away the skin of the beets. Throw the skins in the compost and then 1/4 dice the beets. Chuck in a baking pan and drizzle generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Toss in the hot oven for 25 - 30 minute or until fork tender. You don't want them to get much colour on them because we want 'em super silky tender so shake the pan every 10 minutes or so to make sure they cook evenly.
  3. As the beets cook, wash and dry the greens. Chop roughly into bite sized type pieces. Place a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle in a glug or two of olive oil. When shimmering but not smoking, throw in the greens. Season well with salt, pepper, add about a 1/4 C of water and stir well. Cover and steam. After about 3 minutes, remove the lid, squeeze in the lemon juice and the stock (if using) and stir again. Allow the excess moisture to cook away then remove from the heat. Set aside.
  4. Once the beets are done, you can toast the bread if you like. Turn the oven to broil, cut the bread into thin slices and lay on a baking tray. Baste with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place under hot broiler and allow to toast to golden brown. This happens quickly - make sure you don't burn 'em. If you like your crostini EXTRA crunchy, flip the bread over and toast the second side.
  5. Now build! Smear the greens on each piece of toast, followed by the burrata and then the beets. Finish with toasted walnuts and a pinch of Maldon. Drizzle lightly with balsamic reduction. Alternatively, you could just chuck it all on the table and let everyone build their own crostinis. Either way.


The freshness of your beets will greatly affect the flavour and texture of this recipe. Use the freshest possible to make sure they're tender and moist. Old, large beets tend to be woody and don't have much flavour.Maldon salt is a high quality - and expensive - sea salt. It's meant for garnishing, not cooking. Every kitchen, if you're serious about cooking, should have a couple staple salts in their pantry. I suggest a coarse kosher salt for salting pasta water, a slightly finer sea salt for baking and seasoning vegetables and a finishing salt like Maldon for that extra special touch. Once you have it, you won't go through it too quickly.


How do you deal with a case of the jitters? Any suggestions for me? Have you attended food blogging conferences? Other conferences? What were your experiences? Do you like beets? Beets on bread? What else do you like to put on bread? Spill it!

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  • Anna (Hidden Ponies)
    October 11, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    I cannot wait to meet you, and am seriously relieved to hear that you’re nervous – you don’t seem like the nervous type, and I am TOTALLY nervous…but there will be food and all will be well! Funny how a bit of time out of the meet-and-greet world makes it seem so far removed from my safe living room couch 🙂 Also, excellent recipe segueway (NO idea how to spell that) and the crostini sound love(r)ly.
    Anna (Hidden Ponies) recently published…Chewy Pumpkin S’mores CookiesMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Oh Anna! I cannot wait to meet you too! 🙂 I’m okay once I know people but before that, I’m a wreck! I figure, fake it till you make it, right??

      PS. hahahahahaha thanks. I’m all about the elegant segues. (I always have to google it to remember how to spell it).

      xo – see you in a few days!!

  • Kirsten
    October 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    So you poop your pants. No biggie–just have a change of clothes and a sense of humo(u)r.

    These beets look lovely–though I’m partial to a splash of sherry vinegar on my greens for the acidity of your lemon juice. I’d say I’m snooty, but I’ve never had Maldon so clearly I’m a rube!

    Have fun, forget your worries, and enjoy the conference!
    Kirsten recently published…Roasted Beet & Arugula PizzaMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 11, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…….. I adore you Kirsten. Both for your placidity (is that a word? it should be) about me pooping my pants AND because you accommodate my Canadianisms. You’re the best.

      PS. I’ll try sherry vinegar next time! I never know what to do with it and it just sits in my cupboard, begging to be used. Kind of like the bf 😉 Don’t tell him I said that.

  • Tara @ Rovin' Rambler
    October 11, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Oh man, I am about as anxiety-prone as they come. I’ll happily move across the world with no job or place to live, but don’t make me talk to strangers at a party. I will if I have to…but I’d rather not. That said, going to a conference where everyone there loves food and writing sounds not too terrible 🙂

    This recipe, by the way, is perfect! Because I’m currently planning a dinner party with a foodie friend who turned me on to beets. I’ve also never had burrata before so yay for trying new foods!

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 13, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      I’m so glad I’m not alone Tara!! Can you believe how anxiety crazy we all are??? I wonder when that happened.

      PS. I agree. I have no problem doing things on my own. None. It’s exciting to me. Now to put that mentality into stranger danger. Err, not danger. But nothing else rhymes with stranger.

      PS. Burrata is so creamy and decadent. You’ll pay through the nose. But as a rare treat, it’s divine. And worth it. I’m stoked you like beets – they’re second only to cauliflower in my kitchen!

  • Chantelle
    October 12, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    That’s the thing about bloggity world, you do it so you can be all cozy and hobbit like in your living room, yet semi social at the same time. Actually meeting your fellow food bloggers in the flesh really isn’t poop worthy considering were all kinda doin’ it for similar reasons.That said I wish I was in Van for the FBC conference, totally jelly, you’re going to have soooooo much fun!!!
    Chantelle recently published…Golden Turmeric MilkMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 13, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      I wish you were too Chantelle! I think you’re right – poop worthy? Not so much. Maybe I should pee my pants in excitement, instead. Or grow up and quit talking about bodily functions. 😉

  • Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    October 13, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Ok here goes….I have a few confessions.1) I spent my entire career in the restaurant industry…it gets in your blood and it never leaves. You can’t even suck it out, right? I still turn plates over so see who made the china and I can still recite model numbers for the equipment I sold. 2) I’m a tripper too. I can trip over the pattern in a carpet. The ensuing laughter still hurts a little…oh wait maybe that’s the rib that never heals 3)I pooped my pants in Neiman Marcus once because I was laughing my freakin’ ass off 4) I hate beets…but the recipe looks fabulous.
    So no worries. You’re gonna have a blast, be a major hit. And if you do poop your pants, it won’t detract from your coolnesss. It hasn’t detracted from mine:)
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently published…Free To Be Me… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Oh Jacqueline!!!! You JUST made my DAY! Thank you so much for your confessions – I’m glad I’m not the only one. And because of your advice and precious thoughts, if I poop my pants, I will hold my head high 😉

  • Lenie
    October 14, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Kristy – I l love this recipe. Beets are one of my all time vegetables and this looks like a great appetizer. Will have to try this.
    Lenie recently published…Mammogram – Do You Know The Facts?My Profile

  • Kristy Gardner
    October 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Thank you so much Lenie! I appreciate that. IF you do make it, let me know how it goes for you! xo!

  • Raj @
    October 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    “a good & honest circle jerk” – I like how you put words together that I’ve never seen in combination before. It’s like you’re playing Cards Against Humanity by yourself. Speaking of which, I’ll have it with me this weekend.
    Those pre-drinks tomorrow will help tame those butterflies. Though they may not help with your walking skills.
    Until tomorrow: e-hug!
    Raj @ recently published…Paleo Squashed Butternut SquashMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 17, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      HAHAHA – What’s Cards Against Humanity Raj???

  • andleeb
    October 16, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I really like beet and will surly try this recipe and it is nice to know your story and all the best with the conference. I think no need to be nervous about it , it will be amazing.
    All the best.
    andleeb recently published…Why few Non-Muslim Australian Women are wearing Hijab??My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Thank you so much xoxoxo! Let me know how the recipe works out for you!

  • Krystyna Lagowski
    October 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Mmm, beets! I adore them. Now that they’re really in season, I take advantage of every opportunity to prepare them. This looks totally yummy – I love that your recipe includes throwing the peels in the compost! As for the blogging conference, I’m sure you’ll be a smash – you’re so funny and frank! Once you get there, you’ll forget why you were nervous, I’m sure. Let us know : ))
    Krystyna Lagowski recently published…2015 Subaru BRZ had me at AozoraMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 28, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      I’m with ya Krystyna! While they’re in season, fresh and oh so tender, I’m all over those bad boys like …. well, like beet skins are on beets. Until they go into the compost.

      PS. The conference went just fine 🙂 You were right. Of course.

  • Tara
    November 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    OMG! Kristy, first off…your photographs are absolutely beautiful. I could almost taste the crostini’s right through them, but WHY isn’t this actually possible. i will make these and look forward to it, I have a true love for both beets and cheese, great combo! I may even try chevre if i can’t find buratta! Thank you!

  • Diana L
    November 20, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    OMG you made me laugh! Love the post and love the recipe. Wish I could have some this very minute.
    Diana L recently published…#74 – Chocolate Covered OreosMy Profile