From Nelsons Kitchen

Beets and Cumin Salad

From Nelson’s Kitchen

This salad is by Tess Mallos in The food of Morocco: a journey for food lovers. I adopted the recipe to roast the beets instead of boiling them and I pickled the red onions to reduce their pungency. Also, I borrow a technique from India from raita and freshly toast the cumin seeds, crushing half of them and keeping the other half whole to sprinkle on top at the end.

  1. Prepare the beets
    • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Wash the beets well.
    • Wrap beets in foil or brush with olive oil and place in small roasting pan.
    • Roast until beets can easily be pierced with thin knife or trussing needle, about 1 hour for small to medium beets.
    • Cool slightly and remove skins — wear latex gloves.
    • Cut the tops and trim the roots.
    • Halve the beets, cut in slender edges.
  2. Dress the beets
    • Put the cumin seeds in a dry cold skillet.
    • Put the skillet over moderate heat and gently toast the cumin seeds until they are fragrant.
    • Remove from the heat and immediately transfer the seeds to a small cool glass bowl to stop their cooking.
    • Transfer half of the toasted seeds to a wooden cutting board.
    • Using the bottom of a small cold pan crush the seeds on the cutting board until they are finely crushed.
    • In a deep bowl, beat the olive oil with the red wine vinegar, the crushed cumin and a good grinding of black pepper.
    • Add the beet wedges to the dressing and stir well.
    • Add the parsley and toss well.
    • Add the prickled onions and toss gently.
    • Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of reserved toasted cumin seeds.
    • Serve at room temperature.