Recipe: Moroccan Beet and Kale Salad

A few years back, I produced a recipe contest at The Journal News called “Locally Grown.” We had lots of great entries and narrowed it down to four contestants, who particpated in a Top Chef-style cookoff. All of the finalists had great recipes (or they wouldn’t have been chosen!), but especially memorable this time of year — when beets are so sweet and kale is in season — is this one from Suzie Fromer of Tarrytown.

Suzie adapted it from a recipe that originally called for eggplant, and switched things around to come up with this lovely fall dish. I made it the other day and was quite happy with the results. Thanks Suzie!

And here’s a video from the cookoff:

The recipe, and some step-by-step photos, after the jump.

First, you boil the beets and wash and trim the kale:

When the beets are cool enough to handle, you peel them:

And cut them into slices:

Toss them with the honey-ginger dressing:

And then cook the kale briefly in the beet water.

Voila: beets and kale:

Suzie Fromer’s Moroccan Beet and Kale Salad

Makes 4 servings.

1 bunch beets with greens
1 tablespoon olive oil or local butter
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large bag Red Russian kale
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 inch fresh ginger, grated)

Fill an 8-quart pot 1/3 of the way with water. Bring to a boil.

Remove the beets from the beet greens and wash; do not peel. Wash the greens and reserve.

Wash the kale in a colander and rip the leaves from the center veins/stalks, discarding any tough veins and keeping all the leaves.

Put the beets into the boiling water and cook until soft when pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt to the water and return to a boil. Add beet greens and ripped kale, and boil until tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Remove greens to a bowl with slotted spoon. (Note: cooking water can be used to make rice or as a liquid substitute in any recipe; just remember it’s pre-salted.)

When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and slice into 1/4 -inch rounds.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing: Heat olive oil or butter in a frying pan. Add crushed garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add honey and stir to combine. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and ginger, and stir to combine. When warmed, slip sliced beets into sauce and stir gently to mix.

To serve, dress mixed greens with beets and dressing. This dish is nicer warm or at room temperature rather than cold. If not serving immediately, store separately; better after a few days as the beets and garlic marinate nicely.

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