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Sunday September 24, 2006 8:07 pm

Moroccan Beet Green Salad Recipe

Luscious greensRosh Hashanah started on Friday night this year, so make-ahead dishes are essential to the cook’s sanity. The previously posted beet salad keeps for days, and so does today’s Moroccan Beet Green Salad, though the flavoring strengthens a bit after 3 days or so (not that strong flavor bothers me!)  Beets still attached to their greens seem fresher, and the greens are a powerhouse of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, and calcium, plus fiber.  Properly cooked and seasoned, greens are swooningly delicious, yet even a huge serving is low calorie.  In order to provide those huge servings, I usually buy extra spinach (this year buy in a bunch, not a bag, or buy a bunch of Swiss chard instead) and mix both greens together.  This salad’s lemony spiciness complements the holiday’s rich meat and chicken main dishes.

 

I originally encountered this recipe in The Jewish Holiday Kitchen (new expanded edition, 1988) by Joan Nathan (New York: Schocken Books).  There it’s suggested for Passover.  I’ve changed it over the years, though the original is delicious, too.


MOROCCAN BEET GREEN SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches beet greens and/or spinach
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sweet paprika
  • Cumin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Juice of one lemon

Preparation:

  1. Clean 2 bunches of beet greens, 2 bunches of spinach, or a combination, by putting them in a clean dishpan filled with cold water.  Agitate well, leave to soak a few minutes, lift out, drain the water (and sand!), and repeat until there is no sand.  (This is both easier and much more effective than the running water and colander method.)
  2. Slice horizontally, about 1/4 inch wide, and put into a deep pot.  Add a spoon or two of water if they seem dry.  Cover and steam on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or until soft.  Let cool.
  3. Put the greens in a wire colander over a bowl and press out as much liquid as possible. (You can save it for soup made with all the holiday leftovers.)
  4. Finely chop 2 to 4 cloves of garlic and put in a large frying pan with 3 T (tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil.  Saute at medium high until garlic begins to brown. Add greens, stir and cook a few minutes.
  5. Add 1 t (teaspoon) paprika, 1 t ground cumin, 1 t oregano, 1 t kosher or other salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir and cook a few more minutes, adding a bit of reserved liquid or olive oil if it seems dry.  Add cumin if desired, but it’s easy to overdo the oregano.
  6. Remove from heat, squeeze in the juice of one lemon (can be partly bottled juice), and taste for salt and lemon.  Serve at room temperature.

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