Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Moroccan Beet Salad with Cinnamon

In my last trip to the grocery store I decided that I needed to buy more vegetables that get overlooked in our apartment.  I wasn't looking for vegetables that we never make, but for vegetables that we make from time to time, but with no real regularity.  Broccoli rabe was an obvious candidate, as was cabbage.  And I threw in some beets for good measure because I love them and as far as I am concerned, we don't make them enough.  But somehow none of our usual recipes appealed.  So I decided to try this recipe for Moroccan Beet Salad with Cinnamon from Serious Eats.  I wasn't sure if I would be serving the beets by themselves or over a bed of greens, but as soon as I took my first bite of the beets I knew I wanted to serve them as a salad.  So I threw together a quick salad with what we had in the fridge - a few large handfuls of mixed greens, toasted hazelnuts and some Coach Farm goat ricotta.  And I topped it all with the beets and their dressing.  Speaking of the dressing, it worked really nicely as salad dressing - I loved the aroma and warmth of the cinnamon.  I had never paired cinnamon and beets together before but I liked the combination a lot.  I have never added sugar to my beets before, but I thought together with the lemon juice it amped up the sweetness just enough without making the beets too sweet.  The tangy goat ricotta was a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the dressing, although you could use any number of cheeses instead of goat ricotta (which I admit is not exactly the easiest thing to find at the grocery store).  The hazelnuts provided a really nice crunch, although it wouldn't be the end of the world if you omited them in the future.  And I'm sure some toasted pinenuts would work nicely too and would give the salad a nice buttery flavor.  Obviously you could serve the beets as is, without the rest of the salad, but I thought they were really nice this way. 

Recipe after the jump!

Moroccan Beet Salad with Cinnamon
Available at Serious Eats

4 large beets, greens removed but skin left on
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp evoo
kosher salt
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Place beets on prepared baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 1 hour.

Let beets cool. Peel beets and roughly chop.

While beets are cooling, whisk together cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, and olive oil in a large bowl. Add beets and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste.

Let beets rest in refrigerator for at least one hour. When ready to eat, take beets out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Sprinkle beets with parsley and serve.

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