Beet, Carrot and Sugar Snap Pea Salads

Simple marinated vegetable salads make cooking and entertaining a pleasure. These salads can all be made the day before you serve them to your guests. The colors of these vegetables compliment each other and look inviting on the plate. I found a beet recipe from Café Liz, Kosher vegetarian recipes from Liz’s kitchen in Tel Aviv, that I like because of the use of bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns in the dressing. The herbal flavor of the bay leaves is a nice compliment to the beets. I changed a few things, like roasting the beets instead of boiling them and warming the olive oil dressing before adding the beets, to infuse the spices. The spicy carrot salad recipe is from ‘Let My People Eat’ by Zell Schulman and is a traditional Moroccan recipe passed down from her Mother-in-law. Again I changed a few minor things, I like to use whole cumin seeds, toast and grind them myself instead of buying ground cumin. The sugar snap pea salad is a combination of lemon zest, olive oil and my beloved fresh mint from the overflowing pot which is going to get a haircut soon! Please come by and help yourself to some fresh mint. These salads are all small portions and are meant to be served together for a first course for 4 people.

Beet Salad with Bay Leaves and Sherry Wine Vinegar

1 bunch of beets, 3 large or 4 medium
4-6 bay leaves, fresh Mediterranean Bay Laurel
2-3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice, optional
12 peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400°

Wash and remove beet greens, save for later use. Tightly wrap the beets in foil and roast until a small knife easily slides into the beets, about 25 minutes. Let the beets cool and when you can handle them, slip the skins off and cut into wedges.

Put the remaining ingredients together in a saucepan and heat until warm, take off the heat and add the prepared beets. Let the mixture rest so all the flavors can develop. I got a little carried away with all the bay leaves but I removed them before serving the salad.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

1 bunch organic carrots, washed, trimmed, peeled and sliced into coins
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground together with the other spices
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1/2 half lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

  1. Place the carrots in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5-7 Minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the ground spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Add this to the cooked carrots and gently mix together. Let cool for 20 minutes and garnish with parsley. These may be prepared several days in advance. Serve at room temperature.
  3. Note about the spice mixture, I doubled the spice mixture (ground cumin seeds, paprika, red pepper flakes and salt) and used half of it for this recipe and saved the rest for later.

Sugar Snap Peas with Mint and Lemon Zest

8 ounces sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
2 teaspoons mint, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Bring a medium sauce pan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and bring to a gentle boil. Cook the peas about 1-2 minutes, drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water.
  2. Remove the peas from the ice water and place in a medium size bowl. Stir in the mint, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Now you are ready to make your composed salad plates when ever you like!


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