Birdsong echoes through the barely-lit evergreens, the soft cacophony growing in the morning twilight. Layers of orange, gold and pink paint the sky, as the sun peeks over snowy mountaintops aglow with golden light. Undercurrents of spring are nascent even though the silence of winter holds little promise for warmer weather and the softness of new leaves.
As much I love sitting cozily by the warmth of the fireplace, sipping hot tea, eating comfort food and wearing only the fuzziest of slippers, January always evokes a sense of starting anew, especially in the kitchen. And although the first days of spring have yet to arrive, this Moroccan Grapefruit and Beet Salad with Harissa Tahini imbues the freshness we crave this time of year, all the while tending to our winter sensibilities.
In a contrasting marriage of heat and cool, this Moroccan Grapefruit and Beet Salad with Harissa Tahini weaves warmly spiced flavors of North Africa with refreshingly sweet-tart winter grapefruit, shaved golden and Chioggia beets, radishes, pistachios, pomegranate arils, mint and more.
The richness of tahini pairs wonderfully with full-bodied harissa. To create this creamy-spicy dressing, use harissa spice seasoning (a ground mixture of dried chilies) versus harissa paste/sauce. I found that a little spice seasoning goes a long way!
Thanks to growers in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, we can enjoy citrus fruit like the Ruby Red grapefruit used in this recipe, during its peak season. (Shout-out to growers in my home state – Texas!)
Indulgently drizzled with spicy harissa tahini, this Moroccan Grapefruit and Beet Salad provides a vibrant and delicious dose of winter sunshine. And it supports winter nutrition with the combination of nutrient-dense produce paired with healthy, plant-based fats found in tahini.
As we await spring’s first blush, let’s rejuvenate and refresh with simple and delicious plant-based recipes! Here’s a couple more for your winter-to-spring table.
Thinly slice/shave the beets, then the radishes, using a mandolin, knife or food processor (see the notes section). Set aside.
Next, cut the grapefruit into thin slices. Set aside.
Add all harissa tahini ingredients except for water to a food processor and whirl away. Then add water to thin to your desired consistency, blending in between tablespoon additions until smooth and creamy.
Arrange the shaved beets, radishes and grapefruit slices on a plate. Sprinkle with fresh mint, dill, pistachios and pomegranate arils. Drizzle harissa tahini atop and enjoy.
Watch your fingers! Mandolins can be tricky. If using the aforementioned, consider trying the “fork method.” Secure your tasty beet or radish with a fork and run the vegetable against the mandolin to shave. You may also use your food processor if it has a slicer attachment. The recipe was inspired by Bethany Kehdy’s cookbook, The Jewelled Kitchen.