Cilantro... sesame oil and chili paste... pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses... Incongruous? I wasn't sure about this recipe from vegalicious, but when it called for 4 beets and half a pomegranate--things I weirdly had on hand--it seemed like fate. Following the lead of this bulgur pomegranate salad, I might have used fresh mint instead of cilantro, but cilantro was a more interesting choice, because it doesn't play along with the sweetness of the fruit, the pomolasses, and the beets nearly as much as mint would. Instead, cilantro jives with the beets' earthiness. And putting pomegranate seeds in anything makes the texture more fun.
A word of caution: I used 2 tsp of chili garlic paste, and it was rather hot! I thought it was just right, but if you're not in the mood for spicy, you might want to reduce or omit the chili paste.
I killed two.. er, blocks of tofu with one stone by roasting the orange veggies for the Squash and Mushroom Pasta with Citrus at the same time as the beets. Roasting beets took a long time, but the flavor is so much more intense than if you boil them, letting a good deal of their goodness seep out into the water. Cooked like this, they're concentrated, sweet, slightly dirty in the best way. The only bad thing about this is that you lose the trick of boiling with the skins on and then easily slipping those skins off later--roasting sort of welded the skins to the beets. So, you might consider peeling the beets before roasting.
Beet and Pomegranate Salad
3-4 medium beets, washed, peeled (if desired), and cut into bite-sized wedges
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves
1 c pomegranate seeds
1 TB pomegranate molasses
2 TB lemon juice
1-2 tsp chili garlic paste
2 TB olive oil
1 TB toasted sesame oil
Instructions1. Roast beets at 450* for 30-60 minutes, until firm but pokeable with a fork. Then set aside and let cool.
2. Combine dressing ingredients.
3. Combine cooled beets with cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and dressing. Serves about 3.