About a year ago, my father- and mother-in-law presented us with a wonderful assortment of vegetables pickled and canned by a local vendor from their home in Maine. Between the two of us, we buy more food than necessary, so embarrassingly some of these treats remained buried in my pantry, whose disordered culinary copia would surely would make me eligible for a televised intervention on Hoarders.
Serves 6-8 or 1 Joanna 2 nights in a row
I was initially charmed by the charming translation of Sit Geleila, then further excited by the possibility of swapping the pickled turnips for beets given their similar flavor profile. Incidentally, beet juice is used for coloring in the traditional form of the recipe, so I wasn't straying too much from authenticity.
Sit Geleila is by far the best mezze I have made this year. There is something about how the nuttiness of the cumin complements the acidic twang of the onions and sweetness of the beets that makes it incredibly refreshing yet filling. This dish is one of the few that doesn't not benefit from extra olive oil because you really don't want the rich fats to overwhelm the simpler botanical flavors.
A lovely lunch or main accompaniment.
14 ounces pickled turnips (or beets) chopped into small chunks
1 small onion chopped
2 teaspoons cumin, ground from fresh seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Slice turnips or beets into bite-size chunks.
2. Add chopped onion, cumin, and olive oil.
3. Mix vigorously to combine. Serve immediately if eating indoors or chill in the fridge a bit for al fresco celebrations.