Beet, Orange and Arugula Salad

This (and variations of it) is my favorite salad. Arugula (or other lettuces/greens), balsamic vinaigrette, orange segments (or sliced strawberries, or blueberries, sliced pears or apples or. . ), toast almonds (or pecans or walnuts or any nut you like), roasted beets (or not), goat cheese (or feta or no cheese). That’s the base. Add dried cranberries if you like; very thinly sliced red onion is great too. Take the cheese out and add some sliced grilled chicken or salmon. Make it your own. But this is one of my favorite combinations.

Ingredients

  • 2 large beets, washed and trimmed
  • 60 grams / 2 oz slivered almonds (1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups arugula (142 grams / 5 oz)
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 114 grams / 4 oz chevre or feta cheese

Balsamic Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F /205°C. Wash and dry the beets and trim off the tip and bottom. Wrap the beets well in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beets are tender and there’s no resistance when you insert a thin knife-blade into the beet. Allow the beets to cool down just enough for you to handle them and then pull the skins off with your fingers or use a paring knife if they won’t slip off on their own. Cut the beets into cubes. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Use a knife to peel the oranges, then segment them by carefully cutting between the membranes of each piece. Set aside.

Dressing: Place the balsamic, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk together.

You can keep everything in the refrigerator, covered, until you’re ready to serve. When you are ready, place all of the arugula on a platter, then arrange the beets, orange segments, cheese and almonds around the platter. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad, and have the extra available so people can add more if they’d like. Alternatively, combine all of the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl, toss with approximately half of the dressing, adding more if necessary.

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