Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish
1 medium orange
1 pound beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch wedges
¼ cup honey
3 cardamom pods, cracked
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (1 gram)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (3 grams)
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest of the orange in large strips; set aside. Trim the top and bottom of the orange so that it sits flat on the cutting board. Remove the pith by following the round shape of the orange with a knife, cutting from top to bottom. Finely dice the orange; discard any seeds.
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, arrange the beet wedges in a single layer and add the honey, cardamom, Aleppo pepper, salt, garlic, and reserved orange zest. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover the beets by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, then adjust the heat so the water simmers. Cover and cook until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the cardamom pods and garlic. Add the vinegar and increase the heat to high. Reduce the liquid until it glazes the beets, swirling the pan as the liquid thickens so the beets are coated evenly. The time will vary depending on the dimensions of your pan and how much water was needed, but it may take up to 45 minutes or longer.
Garnish with the diced orange and cilantro and serve warm.
“Reprinted with permission from A Middle Eastern Pantry: Essential Ingredients for Classic and Contemporary Recipes: A Cookbook. Copyright c 2023 by Lior Lev Sercarz. Photography copyright c 2023 by Dan Perez. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.”
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