You’ll find a version of this tangy beet salad at any Moroccan feast – and for good reason: It’s so delicious and easy! It’s one of my favourite “non-recipe” recipes and can be served as part of a holiday spread or piled into a crusty loaf with tahini or hummus for the best vegan sandwich.
This salad needs to be made in advance so the beets have time to cook, cool and marinate in the fridge to soak up all that lemony and cumin-infused flavour. A splash of maple syrup (my twin sister’s go-to secret ingredient) isn’t traditional but it lends a perfectly subtle sweetness to this classic. You can roast the beets if you like, but for this salad, I prefer the smoother texture that comes from boiling them.
Moroccan Beet Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8
6 to 8 medium beets, or 3 to 4 large ones, tops removed
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (3 to 5 Tbsp lemon juice)
½ tsp cumin, or more, to taste
1 Tbsp of maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Salt and black or white pepper
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add beets and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on their size. To test doneness, pierce with a paring knife, inserting about an inch into the beet or more for larger beets. The blade should go into the tender flesh easily without any resistance.
2. Remove beets from the pot and place them in a colander. Run them under cold water to cool slightly. Remove the skins with a paring knife and your fingers, they’ll slide off easily. (Tip: Wear food handling gloves for this step to prevent stains on your skin.) Cut beets into approximately 2-inch pieces.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add sliced beets, onions, olive oil, lemon, cumin, maple syrup, salt and pepper and mix.
4. Chill for at least 3 hours until the salad is cold and seasoning is absorbed. Readjust lemon, cumin and salt as necessary.
5. Top with fresh cilantro or parsley before serving.
Love Claire’s beet salad? Try her challah next!