If you are a reader of The Culinarian, you already know of my love for blood oranges, those beauties of the ruby red flesh and soft, thin peel that taste like a combination of berries and orange. They are sublime and with us through the winter into early spring.
A couple of weeks ago, I gave you a favorite recipe of mine for Roast Pork with Blood Orange Sauce. Here is another recipe for marrying blood oranges with beets in a gorgeous salad.
Mixed baby beet salad with blood oranges, shaved fennel and Montrachet cheese
This is a salad originally from Odeon in New York City. If you can't find the candy-stripped beets the recipe calls for, just add more red and/or yellow ones to make up the difference. Buy the smallest beets you can find.
1 bunch small red beets, cleaned and trimmed
1 bunch small golden beets, cleaned and trimmed
1 bunch small candy-stripped beets, cleaned and trimmed
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 blood oranges
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise with a sharp knife, fronds reserved and chopped
1 bunch arugula (preferably baby)
2 ounces Montrachet goat cheese, crumbled
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place beets in a roasting pan. Pour over 8 cups of water, the red wine vinegar, sugar and 3 tablespoons salt. Cover surface lightly with parchment paper and then seal pan with aluminum foil. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
Drain beets and peel by rubbing with a paper towel. Cut beets in half lengthwise and set aside. If using larger beets, cut into quarters. (Can be done earlier in the day or day before.)
Juice 4 of the blood oranges into a small pot Place over low heat and cook until reduced by half. Let cool. Then transfer juice reduction into a blender along with 1 of the red beet halves (or 2 quarters) and 1/4 cup white wine vinegar. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl and set aside.
Slice the top and bottom of the remaining 2 oranges with a paring knife. Set one of the flat sides on your work surface.
From top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit, cut away peel and white pith. Trim off any remaining pith. Holding orange over a bowl, cut along both sides of each segment, staying close to the membrane, to release. Set the segments aside.
Toss the fennel slices, fronds and arugula in a large bowl along with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly among 4 plates.
In a large bowl toss together beets, orange segments and half of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Evenly arrange on top of the greens. Sprinkle each salad with cheese and drizzle remaining vinaigrette around the perimeter.