Roasted Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Mint and a Sherry-Orange Vinaigrettte

A touch of summery brightness produced by winter fruits and vegetables.  I'm always amazed that even during the dreary and drab winter months (and anyone currently living in Paris can attest that this winter has been particularly dismal), such bright produce as burgundy-colored beets and fiery oranges can come to fruition (no pun intended!).  If not for the sharp and refreshing taste, I would suggest making this just to have something colorful and uplifting to look at and consume while it's so colorless outside. 

Blood oranges are really interesting to me, mainly because of their taste.  Although they are clearly oranges, and resemble their close relative, the navel orange, there is a certain tang to them which makes it clear that they must be at least cousins to the lemon.  Additionally, their color is almost mesmerizing, a deep and intoxicating orange which conjures up images of a perfect, oasis-like sunset. 

Although its title may sound fancy, this recipe only includes 6 ingredients; the flavor is mainly brought out by making the most of each component.  Using the juice, segments, and zest from the blood oranges gives the salad an uplifting and well-rounded completion, while the sherry vinaigrette coats each cube of beet and orange to a silky and creamy perfection.

I don't know how people feel about buying pre-roasted beets, but I will say that I have no problem with it,  especially considering that today in the grocery store I couldn't find raw beets and had to take what I could get.  I'll include instructions for roasting beets (which takes about 1 1/4 hours), but I would say that either type of beet, pre-cooked or raw, will work well in this salad. 

This recipe makes about 1/2-cup of dressing, which is probably about twice more than you will need.  I would suggest saving it and using it on greens later, or roasting beets another evening and pouring this dressing over them.

If you'd like to make this a more substantial meal, I would suggest adding toasted nuts (pine nuts, chopped walnuts, cashews, pecans, or pistachios) or a cheese, probably goat cheese, although maybe other types would go nicely too.  You can also serve this over some leafy greens such as butter lettuce or perhaps even romaine.  Feel free to experiment, and please enjoy thoroughly.  Muchas gracias.  My new boss is Spanish and I hope to learn a thing or two from her in the ways of the spanish language - I'll keep you posted, besos.

Roasted Beet and Blood Orange Salad with a Sherry-Orange Vinaigrette - serves 100 (just kidding - serves 1)

1 beet
2 blood oranges
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
3-4 tablespoons olive oil

To construct the salad:
1.  If using raw beets, preheat the oven to 425 degrees; wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast until tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 1 1/4-hours.
2.  Once beets are cool enough to handle (or if using pre-cooked beets start here), peel the beet and cut in half length-wise.  Cut beets into small cubes, and place in a medium bowl.
3.  Zest one of the oranges in order to obtain 1 tsp orange zest, and add it to the bowl with the beets.  Peel the same blood orange, and chop the segments into cubes or smaller pieces. Place in the bowl with the beets. Add the mint, sprinkle with a dash of pepper, and toss to combine.
To make the dressing:
4.  Slice the remaining blood orange in half; squeeze the juice from one of the halves into a small bowl, and pour in the chopped shallot and sherry vinegar. 
5.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil, until combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding additional olive oil if dressing is to acidic for your tastes.
6.  Pour about half of the dressing (or as much or as little as you'd like) onto the beets and oranges.  Toss to combine; place in the refrigerator and let marinate for about 20 minutes. 
7.  Remove from the fridge, squeeze in some of the juice from the remaining blood orange half, and serve.  Gracias amigos!


Post a Comment