Pickled Baby Beets Amuse Bouche
This amuse bouche featuring Pickled Baby Beets with herbed goat cheese and candied kumquats is an elegant starter for a dinner party.
Years and years ago, I was asked to participate in an online challenge through Kitchen PLAY. The challenge consisted of six different bloggers all creating original recipes centered around one ingredient.
In this particular challenge, we were all tasked with creating recipes using pickled baby beets and I was assigned the amuse bouche which really gave my imagination free reign in the kitchen. Amuse bouche translates from the French as “amuse the mouth” and I think that’s an apt description for this heavenly little bite I created.
I’ve always loved beets. Just adore them, really. Their rich, earthy smell and taste pairs well with so many other things. And one of the flavors with which they pair best is citrus. The bright, sweet citrus notes contrast with the beets in an unexpectedly pleasant way.
I thought it would be interesting to also add an herbal component to the mix with some of the fresh basil that is always overflowing in my summer herb garden. I find that basil has some of the same flavor notes as citrus which further bumped up that profile.
But I didn’t want my one little bite to be overwhelmed by sweet citrus. I wanted some contrast and that is nicely provided by the herbed goat cheese.
The finished recipe is definitely amusing to the mouth with its sweet little slice of candied kumquat, one perfectly pickled, earthy baby beet, and a contrasting bite of creamy herbed goat cheese.
I truly hope you’ll try these little bites and enjoy them just like we did. They’re pretty impressive to offer your guests at a fancy dinner party.
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❤️ Why We Love This Recipe
- It’s elegantly different from most dinner party appetizers.
- Easy to make ahead.
- Bursting with an unusual combination of flavors!
🛒 Ingredient Notes
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- Fresh Kumquats – You’ve probably seen kumquats in the produce section of your grocery store during the winter holiday season. They’re a beautiful little citrus fruit about the size of a large olive and the whole fruit is edible! There’s no need to peel them, but I do remove the seeds for this recipe.
- Goat Cheese – You’ll want a plain, unflavored goat cheese for this recipe. We’ll add lots of fresh, herby basil to make it flavorful!
- Pickled Baby Beets – These sweet, earthy treats taste like beet candy! I recommend Aunt Nellie’s brand.
🔪 How to Make Pickled Baby Beets Amuse Bouche
Start by making the candied kumquats. Rinse and dry the kumquats. Then remove a small slice from each end and discard. Slice the kumquats into thin slices (about 3-4 per fruit) removing all seeds as you work.
In a small, heavy-bottomed pan place the water, sugar, basil leaf, and prepared kumquat slices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat swirling the pan occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.
Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the kumquat slices to cool completely in the liquid. Drain the slices and set aside until needed.
Next, prepare the herbed goat cheese. Simply combine the goat cheese, lemon zest, finely chopped fresh basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Set that aside for now.
Prepare the beets by simply draining away the liquid and placing them on some paper towels to continue draining until you’re ready to assemble.
Prepare one silver spoon for each serving. To each spoon, add approximately 1/2 teaspoon of herbed goat cheese. Top with one whole pickled baby beet and a slice of candied kumquat.
Garnish with a sliver of finely julienned fresh basil.
👉 PRO TIP: I chose to serve the amuse bouche in single bites assembled in silver spoons. You may choose a neutral cracker or small piece of melba toast for serving.
🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like
- Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
- Asiago Cheese Crisps
- Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms
- Marinated Feta with Roasted Lemon and Dill
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I’d LOVE to know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked it!
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Pickled Baby Beets Amuse Bouche
- 8 ounces kumquats
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large basil leaf
- 4 ounces goat cheese room temperature
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
- dash of salt
- dash ground black pepper
- 16 ounces pickled baby beets (1 jar of recommended brand: Aunt Nellie's)
- 2 fresh basil leaves julienned
Make the candied kumquats:
- Rinse and dry the kumquats. Remove a small slice from each end and discard. Slice kumquats into thin slices (about 3-4 per fruit) removing all seeds as you work.
- In a small, heavy-bottomed pan place the water, sugar, basil leaf and prepared kumquats. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat swirling the pan occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from the heat and allow the kumquat slices to cool completely in the liquid.
- Drain the slices and set aside until needed.
Make the herbed goat cheese:
- Combine the goat cheese, lemon zest, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Prepare the beets:Drain the liquid from the beets and place them on absorbent paper towels to drain briefly.
Assemble the amuse bouche:
- Prepare one silver spoon for each serving.
- To each spoon, add approximately 1/2 teaspoon of herbed goat cheese. Top with one whole Aunt Nellie’s Baby Pickled Beet and a slice of candied kumquat. Garnish with a sliver of finely julienned fresh basil.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
I received compensation from Kitchen Play for this post.
More Recipes Using Pickled Beets …
- Pickled Beet Hummus White Bean Dip with Za’atar, Feta, and Mint from An Edible Mosaic
- The 44 Special: A Dreamy Roasted Sweet Potato and Pickled Beet Sandwich with Aioli and Goat Cheese from Alexandra’s Kitchen
- Quick Pickled Beets and Yellow Wax Beans with Feta and Chives from Inspiralized
Miss Lana….LOVELY presentation…..I made these…..wished I had substituted something for the kumquats though (sorry but I didn’t like them AT all)….the beets, herbed goat cheese and basil were spot on…overall a freshly different idea (which I appreciate). I’ll still be using your ideas😉 thank you.
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe even if the kumquats weren’t your thing! I think it’s a really interesting combination of flavors.
These sound wonderful, am going to try them this weekend.
These are beautiful and the perfect party app! My husband doesn’t like beets… But I’m determined to change that!! Perhaps this is the way :)
I love the photo and the presentation, but I’m afraid I would eat more than my share of these lovely spoonfuls.
I just LOVE the main photo. Small bites are just so cute!
Thank you, Dena. I was really pleased with the photo, too.
That is absolutely beautiful. By the way, there is a marvelous place in Dawson where I pick up vintage assorted serving spoons – you know, you just can’t have too many when Thanksgiving and other food occasions roll around. Those would work fabulously here.
Take care. Don’t get too hot. It’s scorching here.
I do need a few more vintage spoons. I’ve been collecting odd pieces of silverplate for a long time. Never can have too many, you know!
I love this idea! Great appetizer.
Lana, I swear you need to just go into the photography business. Absolutely beautiful photo!
Now that really means a lot coming from the master! Thanks, Todd.
You are definitely a chef! Who would have ever had the creativity to come up with this beautiful presentation and I’ll bet it is delicious. You can cook for me anytime. Love U
I’m surely no chef! Maybe a talented home cook, but that’s it. However, I did think this turned out well. The combination of flavors was really unique. I had to make myself stop eating them. It’s so easy to have just one more little spoonful :-)
What an incredible combination! I cannot wait to give this a try, and it looks so beautiful on the spoons!
Thank you, Jules. I was really pleased with the way the recipe turned out.
I love the addition of the candied kumquats and am sure it was a great addition to the tangy goat cheese and the pickled beets. That would make a great salad too!
You know, Denise, I bet these components would make a great salad. I’ll have to work on that next.
I love beets and so many of friends don’t and I just don’t understand it!! These are adorable little apps!
Thanks so much, Cathy. I love beets, too, and don’t get it either when other people turn them down. Oh well, more for me!
What a beautiful and refreshing 1-bite appetizer. I just got some Kumquats from my In-Law’s garden. Can’t wait to make this.
Lucky you, Amy! I had a hard time finding kumquats. They’re more readily available around Christmas time here.
wow how super clever? Great looking!
Thanks, Alison. This recipe was so much fun!