Beet Salad with Oranges and Fennel
This is a delicious salad to make when you have access to fresh oranges and beets. I like to use a blend of oranges such as Cara cara navels and blood oranges to add extra flavor and color in this salad. A small sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese and toasted pine nuts are also delicious additions- feel free to experiment, and adjust the ingredients to your own preference. Serves 6 as written.
- 6 small fresh beets, washed and trimmed of greens (red, golden, or any other variety, or a mixture)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch arugula, trimmed, washed, and drained
- 1 small head radicchio, trimmed, cored, washed, and drained
- 2 navel oranges, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch sections
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Garnishes: 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh chives, fennel fronds, and mint
- Preheat oven to 400º. Place beets on a lightly greased 8-inch square glass baking dish. (If using both red and golden beets, separate on different sides of pan to prevent red from bleeding onto golden.) Pour 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and next 4 ingredients over beets; season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes or until tender. Uncover and let cool to room temperature, reserving beet juice. Peel beets (see tips, below), and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.
- Wash arugula, and tear radicchio into large pieces; arrange on a large platter or shallow bowl. Layer beets, oranges, fennel, and onion.
- Whisk mustard and remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar into reserved beet juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve with salad. Garnish, if desired.
Tips for cooking beets:
You can use different varieties of beets interchangeably. Whole baby beets are nice in a salad. Yellow beets are good for both their mild flavor and beautiful color. If you can find them, try making this with Chioggia beets, which have a beautiful candy-cane stripes and a sweet, mild flavor.
Roast the beets for the best flavor- roasting enhances the natural sweetness of the beets by caramelizing some of their sugars.
Peel beets by hand after they’re cooked. The peel slips off easily, but it can be messy- wear gloves and an apron to avoid staining your hands and clothes, and try to gently rub the skin off of the beets with a paper towel to prevent the peels from flying all over your kitchen and possibly staining your counter top or floor.
Don’t rinse the peeled beets under running water. You’ll wash away the wonderful roasted flavors you just cooked into them.
Lightly rub a pumice stone over your soapy fingers if the beets stain your hands.
last updated August 17, 2023