Monday, January 12, 2009
Middle Eastern food never fails to amaze me with its vibrant flavors and simplicity and ease of preparation. Its popularity is obvious from the fact that foods like hummus, felafel, pita and tabbouleh have melded effortlessly into our food vocabulary today.
I am lucky because one of my oldest and best friends, Margo, is an Armenian who was born and raised in Lebanon. I often pick up great tips for wonderful Middle Eastern dishes from her, and from eating at her home.
This super-simple recipe for beets, one of my favorite veggies, is one I got from her. When I first ate these beets at her home, I was speechless when she told me just how easy to make they are, and how tiny the ingredient list is, because the flavor was so incredibly and spectacularly vivid.
I make this dish often in my kitchen now, and it takes minutes to put together. It goes beautifully as a side dish with just about anything. Try it: you won't be disappointed.
Beets Infused with Garlic and Olive Oil
4 medium beets, scrubbed clean, then covered with water and boiled on a stovetop or zapped in a microwave until a fork stuck in the middle slides in effortlessly. (I don't skin my beets). Slice the beets thinly and cut each slice into quarters, then eighths.
In a small bowl, mix together:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed, preferably with a garlic press, or minced really fine.
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Pour the oil-garlic-lemon mixture over the beets and toss well.
Set aside for about half an hour for the flavors to infuse. Serve at room temperature.
I have long been intimidated by the thought of entering Jugalbandi's gorgeous Click event because of the amazing quality of the photographs they get, but heck, you only live once! So this time I'm throwing my hat in the ring. Thanks, Happy, for the suggestion!
I am also sending on this super-simple recipe to Ramki's event for minimalists, Recipes for the Rest of Us. Thanks, Ramki!