Saturday, May 1, 2010

African Beet and Carrot Salad

This salad is inspired by beet salads that are common in north and east Africa. It is an awesome stand-alone dish for any occasion, or as part of a big authentic Ethiopian dinner (see dinner menu in the Mesir Wot page, here).

2 pounds beets, whole
4 carrots, halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/3” pieces
A few teaspoons olive oil
A few pinches brown sugar

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 TBSP fresh mint, minced
2 TBSP fresh chives, chopped
1 TBSP whole cumin seeds
2 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper

2-4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (chèvre)

Preheat oven to 350. Poke holes in the beets and loosely wrap them in tin foil. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil, a half teaspoon brown sugar, and a teaspoon of water oil into the opening of the tin foil before closing and place beets in a baking pan.

In a separate baking pan, toss the carrots and 2 TBSP olive oil for the vegetables. Place both carrots (covered with tin foil) and beets in oven and roast until carrots become soft (about 20-30 minutes) and beets don’t put up too much resistance to a fork (about 45-70 minutes).

Remove vegetables and cool. Once cool, cut beets and carrots into bite-sized pieces.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing and mix well. When you’re ready to serve, toss the vegetables with the dressing. Finally top with the goat cheese or stir it lightly in with the rest of the salad.

This dish is delicious served either hot or cold.

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