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Friday, February 6, 2009

Roasted Beet & Orange Salad

It's really hard to find colorful foods to chow down on in the dead of winter. It's not like oranges are growing in our Providence backyard but a farmer at the Providence Winter Market was selling citrus from her family's grove in Florida. The beets, goat cheese, and pistachios are earthy, deep flavors, the perfect balance of freshness and richness for 7 degree weather.

This beet and orange salad has so many beautiful colors it tricks you into believing the ground isn't frozen (alas as Punxsutawney Phil told us there are six more weeks of winter)! A lot of people don't think they like beets because they've only had them A) Boiled (aka bland and mushy) or B) Cold in a soup or salad. If these were the only ways you could prepare beets I wouldn't like them either! Roasting the veggies give them such a great flavor, definitely a mind-changer.

Beets are just so cool looking - don't forget to keep the beet greens when you trim them up. I cooked up the greens the next night - just sauteing them with some garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper (talk about vitamins!) Yum!

For the Salad:
6 Beets (a mix of golden & red) peeled and sliced thin
1 orange peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons goat cheese (Vegan leave out)
1/4 cup pistachio nuts
3 cups mixed salad greens
olive oil
salt & pepper

For the Dressing:
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 and place the sliced beets on a baking sheet - drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and roast until caramelized around the edges, about 30 minutes.
While the beets cook, make the pistachio topping by pulsing the nuts in the food processor with a drizzle of olive oil.

Then make the dressing by simply whisking everything together!
When the beets are done, toss the greens with the dressing and arrange on a large platter. Place the roasted beets on top along with the slices of orange. Sprinkle with pistachios and goat cheese!

Side Story:
I was going to just toast the pistachio nuts and add them to the salad but my lovely hubby had a better idea of making this nut topping. You see, it all started on our honeymoon in Northern California. One of our last stopps was Point Reyes where we stayed at the oh so charming Olema Inn, which has a wonderful restaurant. A salad we ordered for the start of dinner had this amazing pistachio topping, which Nick still talks about, and tried to recreate here. A few pictures from Point Reyes - the first is us at dinner (just after the pistachio salad), then all the cows (big dairy country!) and lastly the almost jungle-like national parks.

1 comment:

  1. Tried this one with tangerine and sans goat cheese...still FANTASTIC! Who knew that thin roasted beets taste like Terra chips? (Now I do!) Thanks for posting.


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