ALGERIAN ROASTED BEETS AND GREENS

The Big Table – Tiffany Madeb Lee
She adapted beets to her style of Algerian cooking. There are no beets in Akgeria.

8 beets, scrubbed, root ends trimmed but not removed, greens reserved.
4 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 tbs. olive oil
1 tsb. ground cumin
½ tsb. smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, cut in thin slivers
2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
½ cup crumbled cheese, such as aged goat cheese or feta

Place beets and carrots in a bowl. Combine the ¼ cup olive oil, the cumin, and paprika and pour over the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat over to 450F and let the beets and carrots get to room temperature.
Drain beets and carrots and put on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Separate the carrots from the beets, when carrots are tender.
Test the beets to see if they are tender. If not, cook until they are.
While the vegetables are roasting prepare the beet greens by removing the stems and cutting them into ½ inch ribbons. Toss them in olive oil.
Warm the remaining oil in a skillet and add the garlic, and cook until golden, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the greens, increase the heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, skin them, cut them in half and place them, along with the carrots, in the center of a platter.
Arrange the greens in a rign around the vegetables and sprinkle on the cheese.

Pugliese Beet Salad with Mint

from the Dean and DeLuca Cookbook
Puglia is an Italian province where a meal can start with as many as a dozen vegetable dishes. Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds of beets
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt – like sea salt or Kosher
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup fresh mint

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook beets until fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remover from water and let them cool enough to handle. Slip off skins and cut into ¼ inch slices. Add beets and toss well. Gently fold in the mint leaves. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Balsamic Dressing

Serves 4

Balsamic Vinegar is not vinegar. It is made from pressings of white wine grapes boiled down into dark syrup and then aged, sometimes up to 100 years. The ultimate balsamic comes from Modena, Italy also home to Luciano Pavarotti.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 or 3 tablespoons of balsamic
3 or so tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients well and pour a bit at a time over your greens, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Balsamic can be put in a pan and reduced over heat by one half volume or more and brushed on COOKED CARROTS and BEETS. It is nice to wrap beets in foil and roast them in balsamic.

Moroccan Grated Carrot & Beet Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of grated carrots (from about 3 carrots)
1 cup of grated fresh beets (from about 1 medium sized peeled beet)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon paprika (sweet, not hot)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Small pinch of salt
Small pinch of cayenne
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 Tbsp sliced fresh mint leaves

METHOD

1 Place the grated carrots in a medium sized serving bowl. Place the grated beets into a sieve and briefly rinse with cold water. This will rinse away a little of the excess beet juice that may otherwise color the whole salad beet red. Pat dry with a paper towel. Then add to the bowl with the carrots. Add the raisins. Stir to gently combine.

2 In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne. Then add the lemon juice and honey and whisk until smooth.

3 Drizzle over the the carrots and beets, then gently fold until the carrots and beets are lightly coated. Let sit for an hour before serving, either chilled or at room temperature, for the dressing to seep into the carrots and beets.

4 Right before serving, stir in a couple tablespoons of sliced fresh mint leaves. Garnish with fresh mint.

Yield: Serves 4.

Kale with Roasted Beets and Bacon

Ingredients:
2 beets (about 14 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon slices (8 ounces), diced
1 large bunch kale (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Wash and trim the beets, removing both ends. Place them on a 12-inch square sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil packet and roast until the beets are fork-tender, about 1 hour.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until medium-crisp (or however you prefer your bacon). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Increase the heat to high and add the kale, stirring to coat in the rendered bacon grease. Cover and cook for a few minutes, and then add the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Stir to combine, cover and allow to wilt for 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Peel and cut the beets into chunks and add them to the kale. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Add the bacon, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.