Roasted beet and citrus salad with labneh and zhoug

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 2
Roasted Beets, Citrus, Labneh, Zhoug
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
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The jalapeño and cumin in the zhoug bring out the sweet, earthy flavor of the beets, and the cardamom plays well with the citrus in this light and simple meal. Wrapping the beets separately to roast might seem like a bother, but a foil jacket helps the beets cook evenly and keeps their color brighter. If I happen to hit the farmers market just before making this salad, I’ll pick up a few cilantro sprouts from the sprout man to add another herbal pop. Serve with warm pita bread and a handful of spicy greens to complete the meal.


Roasted Beets, Citrus, Labneh, Zhoug


Preheat the oven to 375 F.


Trim and scrub all the beets. Arrange the red beets in the center of a sheet of foil. Drizzle the beets with a small amount of oil and enclose in the foil. Repeat drizzling and wrapping with the golden beets, then the Chioggia beets. Place the beet packets on a shallow pan and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. (The beets can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; refrigerate until ready to use.) Peel and quarter the beets.


Stir the labneh until smooth. Spoon ½ cup of the labneh onto each of two plates. Surround the labneh with the beets and citrus. Drizzle with zhoug, garnish with cilantro sprouts, if desired, and serve.



Combine the cilantro, chiles, parsley, green onion, garlic, cumin, cardamom, salt and Aleppo pepper in a food processor. Pulse using on/off turns until the mixture is finely chopped, scraping down the edges as needed. Add the oil and process until a coarse puree forms. Transfer the mixture to a jar. Pour a thin layer of oil atop the sauce, if necessary, to cover the herbs and spices completely. Seal the jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. (Be sure to store unused Zhoug with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface to keep it from spoiling.)

Swap: Exchange the baby beets for a bunch of larger red beets. If you’re really looking to streamline cooking time, Trader Joe’s markets and some Middle Eastern restaurants sell versions of zhoug.

Roasted beets, citrus, labneh, zhoug from “Vegetarian Salad for Dinner: Inventive Plant-Forward Meals” (Rizzoli)
Make Ahead:
The beets can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; refrigerate until ready to use.