Moroccan Beet Salad
If you missed Monday’s post, here’s the summary: I used to hate beets and now kind of like them. Prodding yourself to enjoy foods you didn’t think you wanted to ingest, out of culinary FOMA, seems to be worthwhile.
Two tricks I learned during my conversion are in play in this second winner: use acid to season beets and add crunch to mitigate their gummy softness. Plus, this divine little salad gets better the longer you forget about it in the back of the fridge. Tons of parsley brightens the salad, which is better for the addition of marinated shallots and very toasted almonds. I throw in just a pinch of dried coriander which has a mysterious, North African effect.
I think I said everything I ever wanted to about beets in the earlier post except this: if you’re still feeling so-so about them but are aching to improve your feelings towards the ringed root, try making salad with half beets and half roasted carrots (or even a quarter beets and the rest roasted carrots! or roasted sweet potatoes!). You’ll diversify the texture in the bowl but still get to enjoy the pungent, spiced, and salty dressing on bites of cooked vegetables heralded into your mouth every time by the crunch of an almond.
Moroccan Beet Salad
Tons more notes and tips in the aforementioned post.
For the beets
2 bunches beets, greens removed, rinsed
Lemon or vinegar
For the salad
1 shallot, sliced thinly
About 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
pinch dried coriander
About 5 beets, cooked and peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped parsley from the leaves of about half of a bunch
1/2 cup toasted almond slices
Make the beets. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the beets in a baking pan. Pour in water to come up to about 1 inch in the pan. Cover tightly with foil. Roast the beets until a paring knife goes in with barely any resistance, usually around 40 minutes, but possibly longer or shorter depending on the size. If the pan dries out while you’re cooking, pour in a little more water. Cool the beets, then using a paring knife to remove and discard the skins. Drizzle with a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar. Store in the fridge, or use immediately.
In a serving bowl, combine the shallot and enough vinegar to cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes while you toast the almonds and pick the parsley leaves off their stems.
After 10 minutes, drain off all but about a tablespoon of the vinegar from the shallots into a small bowl and reserve the rest. Into the serving bowl, whisk the mustard, coriander, big pinch of salt, and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beets, parsley, and almonds, and toss. Now, start tasting. You’ll probably want to add at least another tablespoon of the reserved vinegar, maybe some more salt, and perhaps some more olive oil. Keep tweaking until you actually like the beets.
(If you’re making this in advance, keep the almonds on the side til right before eating/serving, to preserve their crunch.)