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Ras el Hannout - Moroccan Style Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Smoked Cinnamon Almonds

This could be the best-smelling hands-on session ever, as spice queen Ana Sortun gets you grinding, pounding, toasting, roasting and blending your own exotic spice mixes, before you cook up an array of Turkish, Lebanese, Greek and Moroccan-inspired dishes that look and taste as good as they smell.


  • Ras el hannout - base mix

  • 1 cup cumin seeds, very lightly toasted

  • ¼ cup anise seeds, toasted

  • 2 tsp saffron

  • For ras el hannout brut - Add the following to the above mixture:

  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

  • ½ cup rosebuds, ground

  • 1 tbsp lavender, ground

  • 1 tbsp allspice

  • 2 tbsp ground coriander

  • ¼ cup fennel seed, ground

  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds (just the blackseeds)

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 2 tbsp long pepper

  • ½ tsp ground cloves

  • For Ras el Hannout - Grind the base mix in spice grinder and stir in the following:

  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup ground turmeric

  • ¼ cup ground ginger

  • ¼ cup ground grains of paradise (or can use black pepper)

  • 2 tbsp Aleppo chiles

  • 1 ½ cups paprika

  • Moroccan Style Beets

  • 4 medium sized candy striped beets, the size of a golf ball

  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic

  • juice of one lemon

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 2 tsp ras el hannout

  • 2 tsp harissa

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 cups soft fresh goats’ milk cheese

  • ½ cup lightly toasted Spanish almonds

  • 2 tsp demerera sugar

  • ½ tsp fleur de sel

  • 1 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon

  • 225g micro greens


  • Moroccan Style Beets:

  • 1.

    Roast or boil the beets until tender. While they are still hot, rub them with paper towel to get the skins off. Using the metal blade of a food processor, chop them, scraping the bowl a couple of times, until they are coarsely chopped and sticking together. Place in a small mixing bowl.

  • 2.

    Place the garlic in a small mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and sit for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, lemon, honey, ras el hanout, harissa and one tablespoon of olive oil to the beets and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 3.

    Whip the goats’ cheese until light and fluffy with one tablespoon of olive oil, using a whisk or an electric mixer. Season with salt to taste.

  • 4.

    Using the metal blade of a food processor, grind the almonds, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, demerera sugar, fleur de sel and cinnamon until it resembles the crust of a cheesecake and is finely ground.

  • 5.

    Spoon a heaped tablespoon of almonds on the center of a plate, top with generous spoon of goats’ cheese and beets and serve with lightly dressed micro greens.

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