Roasted HeartBeets Valentines' Day Appetizer

Special occasion dinners are divine, but they can also put a lot of pressure on people who are used to eating out of tupperware to make a multi-course meal on real dinnerware (i.e. me). I'm always on the lookout for fun appetizers that make me look like a better cook than I am, and this year I've happened upon a winning combination. The combination of foods isn't a terribly original one (beets and chevre have a long standing and delicious history), but this is a cute visual twist on a safe taste combination that will dress up a dinner in a heartbeat ;) Though this dish is commonly served as a salad, I think it makes an elegant appetizer. It would pair nicely with the lobster dinner we're recommending, and would also be dressed up prettily by a glass of champagne! A nice bonus: beets are great for, you guessed it, your heart.

You'll want to prep your parts about 1.5 hours before serving: the beets need to cool once roasted, and you want to assemble no more than 30 minutes before you serve, so things don't try out or unravel too dramatically). I actually roasted and cooled my beets a whole day before prepping my dish - slicing mint and spreading chevre takes only a minute, and you only need to spend as long arranging your plates as you actually want to - assembly takes about 5 minutes let's say)

Appetizer for 2


  • 2-3 medium sized beets, peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint (depending on your servings and your mint...basically you want about 2.5-3 mint leaves per plate)
  • a small pat of chevre (I know that's an incredibly vague measurement designation, so check out the final picture..basically you want to put down a little pillow of chevre to "plant" your heart-shaped beets in, so it's pretty much up to you.)

"Heart-beets" before roasting

-Wear white. These hearts bleed.


-Preheat your oven to 375 (make sure your rack is on the middle rung)

-Notice that your peeled beets are already somewhat heart shaped. Slice the beets top to bottom (preserving this natural shape in the slices) in pieces about 1/4 inch thick.

-Using the preexistent shape, make small cuts to shape your beet slices into hearts

-In a bowl, toss the beets in the olive oil until coated

-Sprinkle the coated beets with a few dashes of sea salt

-Lay them out on a Pyrex (glass type?) baking dish or pan. Try to make enough room so that each beet has a surface on the bottom of the pan

-Roast for 35-40 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so. Skinnier slices will roast faster, so feel free to take them out early (my littler hearts took more like 15 minutes), thicker ones could take as long as 40 minutes. Stir the beets every 10 minutes. When they're done they'll look glazed, but not crispy.

-When they're done, chill the beets covered in the fridge, for an hour.

Before serving:

-Using a knife, lay down a pat or "pillow" of chevre on a little plate; try to mold the pat into an angle, so the hearts will be supported "up" by the chevre, as in the first picture in this post.

-Using your knife, dig little wedges into the cheese, to place the heart in. The beets will dye the chevre pink where they touch it, so you can get creative with that if you want.

Stirred and delicious final product
-Slice your mint into strips, removing the stems. If you want to make little rosebuds of mint, roll a leaf (or stack of leaves) into a tube and slice across the tube. Pinch the little rolls (little minty cinnamon bun shapes) and plant them in the chevre around the hearts, or strew them like confetti if you prefer. It'll be pretty anyways :)

-Love all serve all!

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