Beet and Orange Salad

Beet and Orange Salad

Beet and Orange Salad 2560 2398 Daryl Duarte

Beet and Orange Salad

“Harold, eat your beets.” Great line from a famous movie - does anyone care to identify? No one ever had to tell me to eat my beets.  I am a beet freak.  They are full of vitamins! (Prior sentence should always be said with an English accent.) I have been roasting beets in foil packets for years and have used the beets in many salads.  I pack the packet with a garlic clove and herbs to infuse the beets with additional flavor. The pairing of beets and citrus is perfection, and the creaminess of cheese with the richness of a nut - and you are in salad heaven.  As with any of my salad recipes - a bit more of one component and a bit less of another is up to the artistry of the chef and the palates of the guests.   


To roast the beets

  • 3 medium-sized golden beets
  • 3 medium-sized purple beets
  • For roasting beets
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme

For the other salad coponents

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 Pickled Purple Onion (see recipe)
  • ½ cup picked leaves from Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup whole pecans halves or walnut halves depending on preference
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Best quality finishing sea salt Maldon to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ lb blue cheese or goat cheese – optional
  • Best quality olive oil for dressing the beets and oranges and drizzling on the plate
  • Red wine vinegar for dressing the beets and oranges.
  • Reduced balsamic vinegar glaze boiled down balsamic until it is syrupy and thick for drizzle


Cooking the beets (recommended doing a day ahead)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Trim the tops and bottoms of the beet and wash off any dirt.
  • Place two overlapping sheets of foil into a baking dish with sides and then place the beets in the middle of the foil. Bring the foil up on the sides to make a bowl.
  • Make a separate foil pouch for the purple beets and place the purple beets in the middle of the foil and then bring the sides up to make another bowl.
  • Divide the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil between the two beet packets.
  • Create a packet by folding the foil together and sealing it. You don’t want the steam to escape.
  • Cook for between 1 and 2 hours, depending upon the size of the beets. Use a skewer to test for doneness - by poking right through the foil. When it slides through the beet easily, they are done. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. (Do not open the foil when they come out of the oven or you can get a steam burn which is very painful.) When cool, refrigerate until the next day.

To prepare the beets for the salad

  • Peel off the exterior skin from each beet, always keeping the golden and purple beets separate throughout the preparation of this salad. Usually, you can apply pressure to the surface of the beet with your thumbs and the skin will peel off. If it doesn’t then use a paring knife to push the skin of the beet. Discard the skins in your compost bucket.
  • Cut the beets into about 8 pieces each. Transfer the beets into separate mixing bowls and drizzle with some olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Prepare the oranges segments

  • Peel the oranges, and using a paring knife, segment the oranges and remove the membranes on all sides. The result is referred to as a “supreme” of citrus. You can also do this with grapefruit. If that process is too much trouble, then just peel, remove all excess pith, and then slice the oranges into ¼-inch half-round sections. Place the oranges into a small mixing bowl and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tsp red wine vinegar. Set aside.

Assemble the salad

  • Lay 3 slices of golden beet, and then three slices of the purple beat in the center of a plate. Add the pecans, the slices of orange, some pickled purple onion, and a slice of blue cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar. Finish each salad with some large flake sea salt and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.


You can substitute red wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar for a nice change.
All ingredients are to taste. More of this and/or less of that is up to the chef and the preferences of your guests! Good luck!
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