Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

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.


  1. says

    This was so good! I always have enjoyed beets but never think about making them. I will be now! The salad so fresh tasting, thank you for bringing it!

  2. says

    Yum! I love beets and could eat them all the time. I’ve been making them recently by roasting them, and then tossing with honey, olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the stove. Sprinkle on top with chopped pistachios, goat cheese & micro greens. Amazing!
    They’re also just so darn good plain too.

  3. says

    Beet & orange…sounds pretty good! But have never tried them together. Hmm….must be interesting! Enjoy & have a nice day!
    Regards, Kristy

  4. Vegetable Matter says

    Beautiful pic. I wish we had a Houston group — it sounds like so much fun. Hmm, another project to work on?

  5. says

    Did you know I was obsessed with beets? Seriously obsessed, and have been my entire life. This salad looks absolutely divine and I’m wondering why I’ve never put beets and oranges together. Gosh, I make beet ice cream, why didn’t I ever think of this combination before? Well, it doesn’t matter and I’m over-the-top delighted you posted this. I might have to go to and check out the cookbook as well. I’m 90% vegetarian as it is, so your endorsement of the book is good enough for me. I’ll also go check out Cookin’ Canuck! That’s a new one for me as well. And I just ate, so I’m safe.

    Thanks, Alta. I love this post!

  6. says

    Alta, my hubster LOVED it. I actually left out the basil because I forgot to buy it…oops but the flavors were still beautiful. He especially enjoyed the brightness that the oranges added to the salad. Thanks for the recipe :)

  7. says

    That photo is stunning, Alta! Oh, how I’d love to attend one of those potlucks and taste your salad. Way cool on the the unexpected delights in this cookbook. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it and this recipe with us.


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  9. Maureen says

    I made this for a pot luck last night and received several wonderful accolades.
    Great recipe.


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