A couple of months ago I mentioned I got Paula Wolfert’s gorgeous book, The Food of Morocco as a gift. The first thing I made was preserved lemons but had to wait a month for them to finish curing. Then, a few weeks ago, we had family visiting and I decided to go all out, making five dishes from this book, a veritable Moroccan feast. In later posts I will share some of the other dishes I made, but today we’ll start with this beet salad. It’s a very simple salad, but it packs a lot of flavor. With the leftovers, I used the beets in other salads and they were fantastic (if not better) even a few days later.
The original recipe did not include tangerines or their juice, but I wanted to add a little color and sweetness so considering that tangerines were named after Tangiers Morocco, it’s not that much of a stretch to include them. Beets come in many colors besides scarlet red; there are candy cane striped beets, golden beets and even white beets. If you have the opportunity to use different colors, try it, I think it would make a beautiful salad. If mixing colors, try to keep the cooked beets separate until right before serving otherwise everything just may end up pink. Happy Spring!
1 lb beets, roasted
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juice of
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
4 each seedless tangerines (3 for slicing, 1 for juice)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Adapted from The Food of Morocco (The original recipe did not include tangerines and tangerine juice. I’ve also modified some of the recipe’s instructional steps).
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the beets, wrapped in foil, until done. Let cool. For further instruction on how to roast beets go here. When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim off the ends and peel. Cut the beets in quarters and then into 1″ chunks.
2. Squeeze the juice from one of the tangerines and reserve.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, tangerine juice, sugar, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, combine the beets with the dressing and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper. At this point the beets can be placed in an airtight container up to a day in advance of when you want to serve them.
4. Cut or peel the skin off 3 of the tangerines and then slice into 1/4″ thick rounds. Right before serving, layer the tangerine slices into the serving bowl with the dressed beets. Adding them last will preserve the color on the tangerines (they will get pink from the beets and the dressing almost immediately).