Introduction: Moroccan Beet Salad

Marinated beets with lemon juice, garlic, and cumin.

Step 1: Ingredients & Roasting

A friend served this beet salad at his Christmas party, then sent us home with the recipe. This is apparently a popular dish among Moroccan Jews. I've included the ingredient list here so you can get the basic ratio, which I of course muddle to my taste in preparation.

1 pound beets
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced/grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh parsley, chopped

Wash your beets, chopping the greens off if they're still attached, and put the still-wet roots in a large roasting pan. Cover it with foil, and drop it into a 375F oven for shortly under an hour.

While the beets are baking you can assemble the marinade, prepare other food items, or put up a new Instructable

Step 2: Test and Cool

After about 45 minutes (or when the beets start smelling 'done') test them by stabbing the biggest beet with a thin-bladed knife. You can stab directly through the foil to avoid removing the foil and letting all the steam out.

When the knife goes through smoothly, you're done; remove the pan and allow the beets to cool.

Step 3: Peel and Slice

After roasting and cooling, the beet skins should peel off quite easily.

Slice the beets into ~1/4 inch thick rounds. If the beets are large, cut them in half longitudinally before slicing for more manageable pieces. Store them in a lidded glass container, as they're likely to permanently stain a plastic bowl.

Step 4: Marinade

Since I was making at least 3x the recipe, this was modified slightly.

The lemons were small, so I used four, yielding ~1/2 cup juice. I grated the garlic for extra-strong flavor, and used a good 5-6 big cloves; if you've seen any of my other recipes this is par for the course. I added 3 teaspoons cumin, tasted and realized it was hiding behind the other flavors, and added another teaspoon for good measure. 3/4 cup of olive oil seemed about right, and I added a pinch of salt and a vigorous amount of pepper.

Whisk everything together to make a nice creamy-looking emulsion, then give it a final tasting and modify as necessary.

Step 5: Combine and Marinate

Dump your marinade over the beets, give everything a stir, and store them in the refrigerator to marinate. Stir if you think about it.

The longer the beets marinate, the better they taste. They were fine after an hour or two, good the next morning, and fantastic the next evening. After about 24-36 hours the flavor will have fully permeated the beets (time will depend on the thickness of your slices), so planning ahead is good.

Step 6: Serve

After leaving them to marinate as long as possible, serve your beets cold or at room temperature, and covered with shredded fresh parsley. Use a fork or slotted spoon to avoid transferring an excess of marinade.

Unsurprisingly, these beets store very well. Make extra, and you'll have plenty to fish out of the fridge for a cold snack over the next week.

Comments

author
rupamagic (author)2008-02-15

Okay, I'm back. I just had the left-overs for breakfast along with my beet-dyed hard-boiled eggs. It was a great combo. Yum! Thanks again for the recipe!

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erigeeka (author)2010-12-25

Just made this last night for an xmas party tonight. Love this recipe!

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rattyrain (author)2009-03-27

You make very good 'bles, and very good food.

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dogpoop (author)2008-08-11

looks good.
check out my morrocan instructable over here it tells you how to make matbucha

author
mje (author)2007-02-15

I'm absolutely going to make these this weekend. Is that a beet green garnish on top? BTW, I'll bet you're a fan of Tom Robbins' "Jitterbug Perfume"

author
rupamagic (author)mje2008-02-15

That's one of my favorites. I am a fan of both beets and Robbins. Read it, Canida. Then read Skinny Legs and All if you like it enough to read another.

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canida (author)mje2007-02-15

The garnish is parsley, and I've never read any of Robbins's work.

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mje (author)canida2007-02-15

Years ago, someone said to me "YOu like beets? You should read "Jitterbug Perfume". I'll pass that wisdom on to you.

author
canida (author)mje2007-02-15

Interesting. I'll have to track it down, thanks.

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juniperusjosh (author)2007-01-16

i made these and they were so delicious that i ate a kilo of beets (around 2 lbs) in less than 24 hours, and now i am peeing red. it was totally worth it though.

author
canida (author)juniperusjosh2007-01-16

Cool! This is apparently a bit difficult to accomplish, by the way; your urinary system is pretty good at breaking down beet pigments. Sometimes other foods can exert a protective effect on the pigments, allowing them to pass through unprocessed. It sounds like you've managed to some exciting combination of color-protective food pairing + simple volume. Your intestinal flora isn't particularly interested in beet pigments, and so lets them through mostly intact.

author
juniperusjosh (author)canida2007-01-16

the phenomenon is known as beeturia. you can read about it online; some people experience it for no reason, some people experience it because they aren't getting enough iron, and some people (like me) get it from eating so much beet pigment than their digestive system simply can't digest all of it. yay for beets.

author
rupamagic (author)juniperusjosh2008-02-15

I remember using too much blue food coloring on a huge batch of potstickers (Yes, blue potstickers. What?!) when I lived in the warehouse in West Oakland, and the next day everyone was complaining--NO, actually they were all gleefully marveling--at their blue... well it wasn't pee. I find beets have the same results if I eat a lot of them, but not the canned ones.

author
rupamagic (author)2008-02-15

Girl, I tried this salad today. Wow. I made it yesterday and chilled it for 24 hours.... added a couple lemon wedges at the end to make the lemon ZING... it was spectacular! I love beets, and I love cumin so this was a no-brainer home run for me, but wow, I can't believe how simple and perfect it is and that I have never had it! And i spent some time in Morocco! I did add some very thinly sliced white onions (the sweeter type) because I had them already sliced and they just wanted in, and I think they added a nice little crunch but I hardly think the flavor was compromised. The garlic, lemon, pepper and cumin ruled harmoniously here without a doubt. Mmmm, there's still some left in the fridge, I'm off for a bite!

author
shibby (author)2007-04-07

That ain't Moroccan! Hell, that's jewish! EVERYTHING IS JEWISH. Tastes real good though :)

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mje (author)2007-02-21

I made a batch last weekend- a big batch. I'm eating some with lunch today.

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wombat7 (author)2007-01-04

very nice!

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mdhaworth (author)2007-01-02

I'm excited about this, I have a few beets and a few lemons in my fridge waiting to be turned into something yummy. Thanks

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MrMunki (author)2007-01-02

This actually looks awesome, your food photos are great. I can't wait to try this.

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PetervG (author)2007-01-01

It looks gross and uneatable. Beats don't taste very good.

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canida (author)PetervG2007-01-01

Beats are for dancing, not eating.

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PetervG (author)canida2007-01-01

Hah, makes me giggle.

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Bio: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
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