Recipe slightly modified from “King Solomon’s Table” by Joan Nathan. Nathan precedes this recipe with a quote from the Abaye:
“Now that you have said that an omen is significant, at the beginning of each year, each person should accustom himself to eat gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beets and dates.”
— Babylonian Talmud, Kerisus 6a
6 to 8 medium beets
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 to 3 navel oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin, or to
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped green
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the beets, rub them with the olive oil, and then wrap them in foil and put them on a baking sheet. Roast them for about one hour until tender when poked with a fork. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into bite-size pieces.
With a sharp knife, cut off the tops and bottoms of the oranges. Slice off the peel and the white pith and cut in between the white membranes to extract individual segments.
Mix the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, then toss with the beets. Let sit for a few hours at room temperature. Just before serving, add the orange segments and sprinkle with the parsley and pistachio nuts for color.
Makes 8-10 servings.