Saturday, April 26, 2014

Citrus and Roasted Beet Salad

I've mentioned my great love for roasted beets before in my 'Amazing Beet' post from a few months ago. I think that these richly colored roots, with their earthy & sweet flavor, are not just underrated, but deliciously spectacular! This time around, beets are paired with the best zesty citrus I could find, and the results were fantastic! Juicy, sweet, tart, and fragrant, this jeweled Citrus & Roasted Beet Salad is everything I look for in a side dish!

Fresh beets are slowly roasted with cinnamon and orange juice until perfectly tender, then paired with four different types of citrus, and garnished with crunchy pistachios. A light dressing of olive oil, orange juice, orange zest and a quick spritz of lemon juice seals the deal.

As beautiful as the beets were, it was really the citrus that stole the show. Sweet Pink grapefruit, Minneola Oranges, Navel Oranges, and our new favorite, the red-fleshed delicious Cara Cara Oranges, made a perfect foil for the robust beets. If you can find Cara Caras in your grocery store (November-April), snatch them up! They are sweeter than other navel oranges, and taste amazing!

I served this salad as a refreshing side dish during a recent dinner. It makes a wonderful contrast to beef or lamb, and I also enjoyed the salad the following day with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt (I imagine goat cheese would work as well). Beets for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Citrus & Roasted Beet Salad
Serves 6-8

3 large beets
3 cara cara oranges
3 navel oranges
2 minneola oranges
2 large pink grapefruits
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup (or more if preferred) shelled pistachios

for the dressing
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 375F. Take a medium baking dish and pour the water and orange juice into the pan. Break the cinnamon stick into several pieces and add to the liquid mix.

Trim the beets of their tops & bottoms, wash and dry. Prick the beets with a fork several times and then add to the baking dish, larger sides down. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1-1.5 hours (until the beets are tender). Test by inserting a butter knife into the center. Once cooked, transfer the beets to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Discard the cooking liquid and cinnamon stick.

After cooling, remove the skins by rubbing the outside of the beet with several paper towels or with an old dishtowel. The beets will stain everything they come into contact with (except metal and glass), so be aware that any towels, clothes, or hands that come into contact with the beet juice will be stained!

Once the skins are removed, place in a bowl and reserve (beets can also be refrigerated for up to 4 days).

Take one of the navel oranges, washed & dried, and zest about 1 tablespoon and then juice it for about 2 tablespoons of juice. Reserve for the dressing.

Take the remaining citrus and cut the top and bottoms off. With a sharp knife, cut the rind starting from the top and slowly sawing downward, while not cutting into the flesh (as best you can), to remove as much pith and rind as possible. Repeat with the rest of the citrus, trimming the pith as needed.

Carefully cut 1/4 inch thick circular slices of the fruits and reserve in a bowl. Repeat the process with the beets.

Arrange the slices on a tray or dish in a loose "fan" like layer. Take the left over beets and finely dice (like a tuna tartar) and place into the center. Sprinkle with pistachios and drizzle the dressing on top. I like to serve this dish at room temperature, but slightly chilled is OK too.

For the dressing

Combine the olive oil, orange juice, and orange zest in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Adjust acidity with fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.


  1. This salad looks great! I love beets!

  2. It's really a delicious salad and a great way to introduce a crowd to beets!

  3. Now I know I need to plant more fruit trees! I loves beets and never thought to add citrus.