I am swimming in a sea of beets. Figuratively, of course. My garden is just exploding with them lately. Nice, big, plump beets in a range of different colors – red, golden and candy striped. All this week I’ve been making beet burgers, beet chips, beet pickles and tons of this beet salad. I’ve got the red hands to prove it.
I learned how to make this recipe directly from the source, back in March while filming an episode of “The Chef’s Kitchen.” It comes from chef Micahel Solomonov, proprietor of many restaurants in Philly (helloooo Federal Doughnuts), but most notably Zahav. Michael is known for his modern Israeli cuisine, and when dining at his restaurant, one thing you absolutely must order (besides his outstanding hummus, of course) is Salatim, or the daily selection of salads.
These beets are commonly featured as part of Zahav’s Salatim, and for good reason: They’re completely addictive. Not to mention, they’re naturally vegan, gluten free and kosher. Roasting the beets on a bed of salt helps them to cook evenly, while also seasoning them from this inside out, and the slightly bitter tahini mellows out the sweetness of the beets, making this salad perfectly balanced and beautiful.
I’m taking this batch with me to the beach this weekend, and plan to take a literal swim in the actual sea. I’ll cook the rest of the beets next week. See you there!
- 8 medium beets
- 5 cups kosher salt, plus more to taste as needed
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup), or more to taste
- 1/3 cup tahini
- pinch of cumin
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375. Pour out one cup of salt onto a baking sheet and arrange the beets over top. Cover with the remaining salt, and gather it around the sides to enclose the beets as much as possible. Roast for about 90 minutes, or until a knife can easily be inserted into the beets. Allow to cool, then peel and grate using the large holes of a box grater.
- Make the tahini dressing by grating the clove of garlic into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, tahini and cumin, then whisk to combine. The tahini will seize up - this is totally normal. Add cold water to the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk until you get a nice, smooth, slightly thick sauce.
- Mix the grated beets with the tahini dressing, olive oil, dill and mint. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt only if needed. The beets will already be well seasoned from roasting in salt. Add more lemon juice if desired. Serve warm, room temperature or cold. This salad will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.