Love ’em or hate ’em, that’s beets! It’s one of those veggies that inspires extreme reactions. Even people who came into the cafe and said they hated beets loved this Moroccan Beet Salad, though. With its deep color, it’s a beautiful and appetizing addition to any meal, and the natural sweetness of the beets combined with classical Middle Eastern seasonings makes this root vegetable into something very special.
MOROCCAN BEET SALAD Ingredients
Beets, 6 large
Red onion, 1/4 large (3 oz.)
Lemon, 2 lemons, juiced (about 4 TB)
Extra virgin olive oil, 6 TB (if you must refrigerate before eating, use canola oil so it doesn’t solidify)
Salt, 2 tsp. (to taste)
Cumin, 2 tsp.
Szeged Hot Paprika, 1-2 tsp. (to taste)
Cilantro, 1/4-1/2 cup chopped
Place whole, unpeeled beets in water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until done. Don’t over-cook, but you should be able to pierce the beets easily with a fork.
Cool the beets in the cooking juices and rub off the skins.
Julienne the beets.
Add olive oil, lemon juice, spices.
Slice onions thinly into the bowl with the beets, 1″-2″ long slices.
Add chopped cilantro to the bowl.
Stir all together gently, adding lemon, salt and hot paprika to taste.
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Like the opening day of the Woodstock Farmers Market, in fact each day of the Market, everything on the Square felt festive this past Saturday. Although it rained the night before, by morning the sun occasionally peeked through the clouds, taking some of the early spring chill out of the air.
Andy Andrick and Gloria Burchfeld from Off Square Music played and sang 60s music and Americana from the gazebo in the center of the Square, and booths filled with produce and other farm products were spread along its paths and on the streets around its edge. It’s still early enough in the spring that everyone is excited to be outdoors, and the Market pathways were crowded with people greeting each other and shopping.
This week, I went to the Market with my son, Jeremy, who tried out a cup of iced caramel brulee latte from Ethereal Confections, our delightful local confectionery, before we started our path around and through the Market. He enjoyed that so much that the first thing he wanted to do when we returned four days later for a Stage Leftovers performance at Stage Left Cafe was get another cup! His punch card will fill up pretty quickly, I imagine.
Here are the treasures I brought home this week, all green and making me feel like it’s finally spring! In the microgreens department, I got sorrel, sweet pea greens and mustard from Troy at Edmond’s Acres. I also picked up some asparagus at that stand. My find this week was the plump bag of fresh, organic spinach I got from Elaine Book at Providence Farm, Belvidere. The spinach was over-wintered, and it came in strong, very early.
Jeremy stopped by the Riemer Family Farm table to visit with owners Bryce and Jen Riemer and arrange to bring home the bacon, and we checked out the table of a new vendor in the Market, Ludwig Farmstead Creamery, with their award-winning raw milk artisan cheeses. This Certified Humane Creamery is getting ready to enter a market niche that is currently under-served when their cheeses are certified kosher. I purchased a cheese that will soon have a “heksher,” a kosher certification, and Jeremy bought their spicy Habanero.
We continued to wander around the Square, visiting with our friends, until we came to my good friend, Jaci, world’s best cookie maker. She had a special surprise for us this week and for anyone with kids or grandkids who are into Minecraft: Jaci’s Cookies Minecraft Cookies! Of course we had to get one for my grandson, Zachary.
With two more stops, we finished our shopping for this week. Jeremy was envious of my popcorn last week, so we stopped by the Brook’s Farm table to get some for him from Rich. While we were there, we sampled some delicious “Butter Toffee” corn which I didn’t take home because I would have eaten it all up! And Jeremy picked up a jar of red raspberry preserves from Rosinski’s Produce in Antioch. We chatted about adventures picking wild black raspberries with our kids, which always resulted in blue-black juices from finger tips to elbows and all over little faces.
Finally we headed into the center of the Square to enjoy the music and see what else was happening there. Have I ever mentioned how great it is to be in a town that attracts so many wonderful musicians? Andy and Gloria were still going strong with their toe-tapping music as they came up on three hours, and we sat to enjoy the beat for a little while.