Beets electrify this classic Italian dish bringing not only glorious color, but earthy sweetness and nutrition too!
Do this step a day or two before you plan to serve the bruschetta: Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash beets well, cut off the greens, and place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, wrap tightly, and place in oven. Roast for 1 hour.
Remove beets from oven, and open aluminum foil. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Peel the beets by pressing the skin off. It should come off easily. Reserve to a container until ready to use.
Turn on your oven broiler, and ready a sheet pan.
Place balsamic vinegar and sugar in the smallest saucepan you have. Turn on medium-high heat, and let the balsamic mixture reduce by half, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should be the consistency of warm syrup, slightly viscous. It will thicken as it cools. Set aside.
Dice tomatoes and beets into 1/4 inch dice, and place in a medium bowl, then add finely diced garlic, salt, and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Mix well.
Take all the basil leaves, and stack them on top of each other. Roll them length-wise into a cigar, and slice as thinly as you can with a very sharp knife. This is called a chiffonade. You've made tiny little basil ribbons!
Cut your baguette into 1/2 inch rounds on a bias, and place on your sheet pan. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and toast under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and toast the other side.
Carefully place a heaping teaspoon of bruschetta mixture on your rounds, and place on a serving platter. Drizzle the rounds with the balsamic reduction, and then sprinkle with basil chiffonade. Serve!