Monday, March 28, 2011

Moroccan Two Reds Salad

This salad has an astonishingly psychedelic color and an unexpectedly great flavor. Almost makes you want to say "Cool, man."

1 pound beets (3 medium), cooked, see instructions below
1 pound (4 medium) tomatoes, seeded, cut into ½-inch cubes, see instructions if you need them
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped flat-leafed parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or oregano or a mix
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cut the cooked beets into ½-inch cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl along with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro or other herbs.
2. Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
3. Serve at once or chill in the fridge for up to an hour. I prefer the salad at room temperature.

6-8 servings
Adapted from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Flatbreads and Flavors

How to cook beets

1. Cut off the greens, if your beets come with them, leaving about 1 inch of stem. Leave the tails in place. You can find a good use for the greens or, at the very least, compost them. Rinse the beets to get rid of any dirt.

2. Place the beets in a glass or metal 8x8 pan or something comparable. Pour about ½-inch water into the bottom of the dish and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.
3. Place in a 400ºF oven and roast until the beets are soft, about 1 hour. To check if they are done, carefully pull off the foil. Watch out for the steam escaping as it is very hot. Insert a knife into the largest beet. If it cuts into the beet without resistance, the beets are done. If it doesn't, re-wrap with the foil and continue to cook.
4. Let them cool slightly and then peel. The skins and stems should slip off easily, leaving your hands nicely pink. Cut off the beet tails.

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