Beets have been considered an aphrodisiac for centuries. Ancient Romans believed that beets and their juice promoted amorous feelings. Frescoes of beets decorate the walls of the Lupanare brothel in Pompeii. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, ate beets to enhance her appeal. This quaint folklore actually has a basis in reality. Beets are a natural source of tryptophan and betaine, both substances which promote a feeling of well-being. They also contain high amounts of boron, a trace mineral which increases the level of sex hormones in the human body. While beets might not seem very romantic, they’re actually a very stimulating little root veggie!
My husband’s niece Sharone shared this simple beet salad with me. She’s from a Moroccan Jewish background, and she’s a champion in the kitchen. Sharone is responsible for teaching me some of my very favorite mezze dishes. Her tasty salad combines the sweet earthiness of freshly roasted beets with the mild spiciness of red onion. When left to marinate, it takes on a rich and lovely red hue. You might want to serve this one for Valentine’s Day, by candlelight. With such a vibrant color and flavor, it’s bound to spark some passionate feelings at your dinner table!
To learn how to roast beets, click here.
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- 6 medium red beets (about 2 ½ lbs), roasted (to learn how to roast, click here)
- 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp pepper, or more to taste
- Remove knobs and tails from the roasted beets and peel off skins. Cut into 1/2 inch square cubes and place in a salad bowl. Add red onion slices to the bowl. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and cumin. Pour mixture over the onions and beets. Stir gently until beets and onions are evenly coated with the oil mixture. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Marinate for 1 hour at room temperature, then serve.
Other Great Recipe Ideas
Recipe Girl: French Lentil and Roasted Beet Salad
Weelicious: Sweet Beet Cookies
Simply Recipes: Pickled Beets
Leite’s Culinaria: Salt-Baked Carrots and Beets
Ilke’s Kitchen: Cream of Beet Soup