Remember the other day, when I promised to tell you about a beet salad I brought to the Dallas Food Bloggers potluck? Well, I always want to make good on my promises, so here goes.
I can’t take credit for this recipe. Wish I could, as it’s absolutely divine. Of course, I love beets, particularly roasted beets. But this salad truly makes them shine. It’s a great way to eat something that makes your mouth feel good, and it’s good for your body!
About a month ago, I won a book called Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons over at one of my favorite blogs, Cookin’ Canuck. (Warning: If you’re the least bit hungry, be careful visiting her blog. She has some of the most delectable recipes, and even more delicious photos!) This book was something that I would have likely passed by if I was browsing at a book store. It’s just not something I’d gravitate towards. (sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between the good and the bad with these monster-sized cookbooks.) I’m so glad this didn’t happen, and that I was lucky enough to win a copy. As soon as I opened the book, I couldn’t put it down. Recipe after recipe sounded mouth-wateringly delicious. If you think a vegetarian diet means boring or restrictive meals, this book will make you change your mind.
After debating where to start, I finally decided on this recipe. I was in love. While I did grill steaks for my husband and I that evening (yes, I realize that’s not exactly vegetarian, but he’s not interested in beets, and hey, I’m totally accepting of a good piece of beef), I left most of my steak for my husband, and instead ate more beet salad. That’s how good it was. The recipe is written for 4 servings, but if this is going to be a large portion of your meal, or if you have a beet fanatic, I’d suggest doubling it.
I was still so enamored with this recipe that I made it again and brought it to the Dallas Food Blogger potluck this past weekend. It was a perfect potluck dish, as it can sit at room temperature, and it looks so gorgeous with the jewel-toned beets. The positive reviews sealed the deal – this is a “go to” salad in our house from now on!
Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette, adapted just barely from Vegetarian Planet
3 medium beets, peeled and cut into eighths
3 T olive oil
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 seedless orange
2 T balsamic vinegar
3 T chopped basil, plus a few leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the beets in a roasting pan and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the beets. Season with salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated with the oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until beets are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Allow beets to cool for 10-15 minutes.
While beets are cooling, grate the rind from the orange, and with a paring knife, peel and section the orange. (For instructions on how to section an orange, check out Amy’s tutorial over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.) In a bowl, combine the orange rind, any juice that accumulated when sectioning oranges, the balsamic vinegar, and the basil. Whisk together, and while whisking, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the beet and orange pieces on a large plate and spoon the vinaigrette over. Serve the salad when the beets have come to room temperatures. (Can be refrigerated overnight – the oranges will take on the red color of the beets though.)
Serves 4 as a starter.