Beet and labneh bruschetta with beet greens pesto

I had bought a mandoline made in France and was dying to use it; after all, the French invented this thing, right? So I dutifully watched the CD that came with it, (twice),  showing the beautiful Vosges region where the mandoline-makers were  located; then I tried using it and was having a hard time. Finally, after six months of that mandoline collecting dust in the cupboard, I asked my daughter, the mechanical one in the family, to spare five minutes and work it for me.

Yes!

Beautiful, even, extra-thin slices of beets.

Topped with creamy homemade labneh, and a pesto whipped up with the beet greens and some walnuts (plus garlic and olive oil).

Do you own a cooking gadget  that you are afraid to use (like I was)?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Large beets with greens attached
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 cup of homemade labneh or make it, click here for the recipe
  • 8 cloves of garlic (3 for the labneh and 5 for the pesto)
  • 3/4 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of beet greens
  • a handful of basil leaves (optional)
  • 6 to 8 slices of crusty bread

METHOD:

  1. Cut off the beet greens and wash thoroughly. Place the beets on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes or until tender. Cut off the stalks from the beet greens and reserve to use for a salad or soup. Mash the garlic with a teaspoon of salt in a mortar till pasty and mix half of a teaspoon with the labneh. Taste and add more if desired. Reserve the rest for the beet greens pesto.
  2. Boil a quart of water in a pot and drop the beet greens for about 2 seconds until limp. Drain them and squeeze them to release as much water as possible. Place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the walnuts, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste and a handful of basil if desired. Process until the mixture is pasty, taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. When the beets are cooked, cool them a bit, peel them and slice them thinly. Place the toasts in the oven and grill till light brown and toasted. Place a few slices of beets on the toast, a couple of generous tablespoons of labneh and a drizzle of beet pesto. Serve with additional walnuts if desired.

NOTE: This would be delicious with a homemade goat cheese; clickherefor the recipe.

The beet green pesto tastes peppery; adding a few leaves of basil makes it taste more subdued.

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28 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! I did that with my pressure cooker. I bought it, but was so intimidated, it spent months on my shelf.

  2. Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I had the same experience with my mandoline..it took me a couple of years to actually use it hehehe
    this looks so beautiful and your photography is stunnung

  3. Posted June 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Great bruschetta! Fresh and delightful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Posted June 9, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    I must have a look around for a mandoline and see if I can work out how to use it. I live beet so this sounds fantastic. Diane

  5. Posted June 9, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    This was really delicious! Light and full of flavor.

  6. Posted June 9, 2011 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Bruschetta looks extremely delicious and fabulous..

  7. Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Nothing beats a mandoline for achieving the perfect gratin dauphinois. Sadly, nothing beats a mandoline for some of the worst kitchen injuries I’ve seen in my time as a chef (more than knives or gas stoves)…the speed with which you use it paired with wanting to slice whatever it is you are slicing down to its last bit often means that parts of the finger are sacrificed as well….eeek!

  8. Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    A mandoline that came with a CD. Crazy stuff.

    These crostini look delicious!

  9. Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    mmmmm! i love your site, it just makes me drool!

  10. Posted June 9, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    A beautiful bruschetta! I love the combo of flavors, textures, and colors in it.

  11. Verkin
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    You did it again! this is very inventive, I specially like the pesto with beet greens.

    Thank you.

  12. Nadege
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I was intimidated by my “mandoline” too. I took it back.
    This bruschetta looks delicious and refreshing!

  13. Posted June 9, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Une belle ” tartine ” de chic et de choc….en rouge et vert

  14. Posted June 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Joumana,
    Gorgeous looking bruschetta!
    I never thought of making pesto using beet greens great idea
    -H

  15. Posted June 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Yum! I adore beets and grew up putting pickled ones on sandwiches. I will have to try your version for sure. :-)

  16. Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Just keep your fingers away from the blade :) I love beets and beet greens – what a wonderful idea for bruschetta.

  17. Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I use that little knob every single time I use my mandolin. How the Food Network people can just slice away is beyond me!
    Great idea for bruschetta, Joumana.

  18. Posted June 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    French mandolines are sturdy and well-built. But I have to say I favor the Japanese ones. Made of plastic, yes, but sooooo easy to use. And they slice just great. ;)

  19. Posted June 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I have a mandoline, and am not afraid to use it, but just don’t use it enough! These bruschetta look amazing. I absolutely love beetroot and goats cheese together. A beet green pesto would be a stunning addition.

  20. Aarthi
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

  21. Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Amazing with the beet greens pesto. I posted a similar one with green beets and walnuts last month.

  22. Posted June 10, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Wonderful appetizer! Love the colors!

  23. Posted June 12, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Une bruschetta orientale ! J’aime la simplicité, et c’est sûrement un délice !

  24. Posted June 13, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I always get a little afraid of using my mandoline with raw and hard veggies, but it slices so perfectly. Your beets look great, and the beet greens pesto looks delicious on top!

  25. Posted June 14, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    This WILL be the next crostini I make, guaranteed! Perfect colors and textures at play. – S

  26. Posted June 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid to buy a mandoline! I am afraid of knives too! I have no knife skills and should really take a class, but I don’t like using those huge professional ones because they scare me. Uh oh, TMI. Now you know I’m a hack. (Lovely pics, BTW! Love anything with beets and beet greens.)

  27. Posted December 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Avec ses tranches fines de betterave et sa touche verte parfumée cette tartine a vraiment un atout charme…

  28. nonny
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    re: broken link

    The link for labneh embedded in this recipe is mis-coded.

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