Red and Orange Salad
I can’t even believe how stubborn I was.
I used to hate beets. Well, I used to say that I hated beets when in reality I never gave them a decent shot.
I think I was forced to try canned beets as a child. I didn’t like them and became locked into the I-hate-beets camp and never left.
Eventually, I gave them another shot and learned that I was being plain silly for not eating these delicious root vegetables. Now I eat them every chance I can get so I was happy to oblige with a beet salad which was last week’s poll winner!
This salad might look complex, but there are just a few basic parts and the flavors work great together.
1) Chop stems off of beets and add them to salted water. Boil for 15-20 minutes until they are fork tender.
2) Remove beets, let cool, peel, and slice into 1/4 inch slices.
3) Peel and slice oranges, peel and chop pistachios.
4) To prepare greens, wash beet greens really well and cut out any large ribs in the leaves. Chop and mix with arugula.
5) Stir together honey and yogurt.
6) To build salad, lay down a base of greens. Layer beets topped with a dollop of yogurt sauce, then an orange slice. Repeat until your greens are covered with a layer of beets and oranges.
7) Sprinkle on blue cheese and pistachios. Drizzle with olive oil and cracked fresh black pepper. Also taste for salt, but the cheese should be pretty salty so you probably won't need any salt.
Prepping the Beets
While you can buy beets without the stems on in most stores, I still like to get a bunch of them with the stems still intact. Especially for salads like this, you can easily use the greens as a base for the salad, which this recipe does.
A beet salad with beet greens?
That’s hard to beat!
You can roast the beets or boil the beets for this recipe. I boiled them just for a change. Basically, just chop off the stem ends of the beets and then toss them in a large pot of simmering, lightly salted water for about 15-20 minutes.
The beets are done when they are fork tender.
Then just let them cool slightly, peel them, and slice them into rounds.
One thing I did notice is that peeling the beets was a lot easier after boiling them than if they were roasted. The skin just comes right off.
Using the greens is a great way to really use all of the beet and it’s very easy to do for salads like this. Just chop off the greens and slice out any of the large thick stems in the greens. Then chop up the greens and rinse them really well.
Beet greens attract a lot of dirt so rinse them really well so they aren’t gritty at all. I also mixed in some arugula.
Pistachio (plus a tip)
Anytime I make something with beets, I try to sneak in pistachios. The flavors work great together and I love the crunch they give this salad.
Of course, the annoying thing about pistachios is shelling them. You can buy them pre-shelled, but you’ll pay for it.
I saw a cool trick recently for shelling pistachios. There are always a few shells that are stuck together really firmly so you can’t pry them apart with your fingers.
If you have one of those, just slide a half of a shell into the gap and use it to pry open the shell!
Once you have your pistachios shelled, just give them a rough chop.
I like my pistachios to be almost whole for salads like this. I just run my knife through them a few times.
A little citrus is always a good idea in salads.
Unfortunately, I kind of screwed mine up, but you can easily avoid my mistake.
I thought it would be good to roast my oranges. I thought it would concentrate the flavors, but it really just made them bitter.
So don’t roast the oranges. Just peel them and slice them into rounds so you can easily stack them with your beets.
There really is no dressing on this salad. Instead, I drizzle it with olive oil and also sandwich the beet slices together with a slightly sweet and tangy yogurt sauce.
It’s literally just Greek yogurt and honey stirred together. It tastes awesome though.
Making the salad
This part isn’t rocket science. Just make a big bed of your greens and then lay out your beets. On top of each beet slice, add a dollop of the yogurt sauce.
Then add an orange slice followed by another beet slice and another dollop of yogurt.
Pretty straightforward. You’ll end up with this cool layered effect.
Then just crumble on your blue cheese, pistachios, and drizzle the whole thing with olive oil.
I like to crack on some black pepper as well. You might want to add a pinch of salt, but I thought there was plenty of salt from the cheese.
Not much to this salad really, but the flavors are fantastic and the presentation looks impressive even if it just takes a few minutes to throw together.
This would be perfect for a dinner party or you could always just pile everything in a bowl and horde it.