Friday, April 27, 2012

Recipe: Moroccan Beet Salad

I just submitted another recipe for the Zuuzs Grand Spring Recipe Challenge.

I have amazing memories of my time in Morocco; I can't wait to go back!  Moroccan food is incredibly flavorful, colorful and very healthy!  This side dish goes great with roasted beef or lamb and also makes a delightful snack!   

Warning: It's a little time consuming - mostly because you're waiting for the beets to cook and then cool down.  Nevertheless, it's worth the time! 
Moroccan Beet Salad

5 medium beets, washed/scrubbed
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds*
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt*
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Fill a large stock pot (or pressure cooker) with water, enough to cover the beets by at least 2 inches.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-high (water should continue to boil).  Allow the beets to cook for approximately 50-60 minutes (or 30 minutes in a pressure cooker).  The beets are ready when the skin easily comes off and you can pierce the flesh with a knife or fork with no resistance. 

Drain the beets.  Fill the sink or a large bowl with water and lots of ice; soak the beets for 30 minutes. 

While the beets are cooling down, heat a small frying/sauté pan over medium heat.  Add cumin seeds to the pan and "roast" them for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Grind the roasted cumin seeds in an electric coffee/spice mill or by hand using a mortar and pestle.

In a small bowl, combine the red onion, parsley, cilantro, roasted ground cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh lemon juice; mix well and set aside.

When the beets have cooled down, remove the skins (should slide right off), trim the tops/ends and cut into 1/2 inch (bite-sized) cubes.

Combine the beets and the onion/herb mixture in a large bowl and gently stir until the beets are evenly coated. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve (will hold in the refrigerator for a few days).  Enjoy!

*NOTE: You can also substitute the roasted ground cumin seeds for regular ground cumin (the flavor will be different but just as good).  Also, if using regular (table) salt you will need to reduce the amount of salt by 1/4 teaspoon.

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