08 December 2011

Moroccan beet salad

As you may have guessed by the silence, it's been a very busy past few weeks chez your favorite spice mistress! Among other things, we hosted our first ever Thanksgiving dinner here in Paris (for 30+ people and it was a success!), had a visit from one of my Philadelphia-based cousins and did a fair bit of travel - namely to Morocco (Marrakesh and Essaouira), Brussels and Lisbon. Given that my previous Morocco experience was limited to a few days in the capital city of Rabat, the weekend that we spent in Marrakesh and Essaouira was a real treat - a true mix of colors, flavors, scents and sounds! All the details are coming in a future post, but rest assured that we stuffed ourselves with pungent tajines, delicious couscous, refreshing salads and lots of mint tea.

Luckily, good Moroccan food (and North African food in general) abounds here in Paris. One of my favorite Moroccan restaurants is the beautiful 404, in the Northern part of the Marais on the Rue des Gravilliers (the street I used to live on!). At this gorgeous restaurant where I love to take out of town guests, they serve a little plate of marinated beets and fava beans as soon as you are seated. I love those beets, seasoned with garlic, coriander, cumin and paprika - all traditional flavors used in Moroccan cuisine. With a pack of vacuum-packed or canned beats (rinsed well and drained first, of course), you can throw this together in a flash and serve it as either as a salad/dish or as a snack with toothpicks, as they do at the 404.

Serves 2-4 as a side dish or snack

2 cups cubed beets (make sure that you rinse and drain the beets before cubing)
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced (or crushed if you don't want any little minced pieces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander or parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve cold.


  1. I spent some time in Morocco when I was 11, and fell in love with Marrakesh and it's souks. Moroccan food is one of my great loves!
    Gorgeous recipe! I never think to use beets for more exotic dishes, and I have some in the fridge... thanks for the inspiration! :)

  2. The beets look pretty as ever :-) And I love all those flavors in there You are so lucky that you could visit all those places !

  3. I have never made beet salad with all these spices...it's time that I get more creative. Did not know that it would be so amazing, and lovely spices, packed with good flavor!
    Love it:DDD
    Buzzed you, Ramiya!

  4. So colourful and delicious salad..Beautiful clicks too..

  5. You know I don't like beets that much. But I think I should try it too. The pictures are great!-Mom

  6. Wonderful salad....but I can not wait to hear more of your adventures and travels! Mostly, I am curious to hear if you cooked a Thanksgiving turkey or not?

  7. I love beets, but usually have them plain. I love the idea of adding Moroccan spices! I'm also super impressed by your ability to host a Thanksgiving for 30 people. I'm pretty sure I'd be hairless after!

  8. 30 people! Good heavens! Well done on you for conquering that challenge :)

    This beet salad looks lovely! Never been to Morocco but its on my list!