March 22, 2018

Yellow Beets And Harissa Onions

Recipe: Ilene Rosen with Donna Gleb

Try this recipe for Yellow Beets and Harissa Onions from the cookbook Saladish.

Spicy burnished onions contrast vividly with mild golden beets in this unusual dish, which is finished with a splash of lemon and fresh dill.


  • 1⁄4 cup flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp harissa, plus more if desired
  • 1 pound cipollini onions
  • 1 pound small yellow beets, ends trimmed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 large radicchio leaves, cut crosswise into 1-inch ribbons
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄3 cup small fresh dill sprigs


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Pour the oil into a bowl large enough to hold the onions. Whisk in the harissa, taste, and add more if desired. Slice off the root and stem ends of the cipollini and remove any skin that comes off easily. Add the onions to the spiced oil, toss well, and let stand for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, put the beets, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and garlic in a large saucepan, add water to cover by several inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the beets are tender enough to be pierced through with a fork, about 25 minutes; check early and often to avoid overcooking. Drain them in a colander, and when they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and cut them in half (or into quarters if they are large), so they are about the same size as the onions. Discard the herbs and garlic.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  4. Arrange the onions on a sheet pan, spaced well apart, and roast for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are browned and tender and the remaining skin falls off. Transfer the onions to a cutting board; reserve the spiced oil remaining on the pan, and any bits of onion sticking to it.
  5. Cut the onions in half and place in a serving bowl. Add the beets and most of the radicchio ribbons, reserving a few for garnish. Scrape the spiced oil and onion bits from the sheet pan onto the vegetables and toss well. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Shower with the dill and the reserved radicchio and serve.

Excerpted from Saladish by Ilene Rosen (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Joseph De Leo. Used with permission from the publisher.