Monday, February 28, 2011

Roasted Beet and Orange Salad with Toasted Walnuts

My valentines day present also included beets, whole and intact--not from a can, imagine that!  I love beets and always order them when I see them on menus, but I've never tried roasting them myself.  Well, I'm glad I learned how to cook these babies because they turned out super delicious, looked incredibly beautiful and went wonderfully with bright oranges and toasted walnuts.  I even got to take a friend's beet v-card, and she loved them!

What you'll need:
1 bunch fresh beets 
olive oil
2 oranges

Preheat the oven to 350 and start by cutting off the beet greens, and rinsing the beets

As a side note, I didn't end up doing this myself, but the greens are apparently really delicious sauteed like spinach with garlic and olive oil

Next, wrap them in tin foil and pour a touch of olive oil over the beets
Wrap up the tin foil to make a little packet
 Put the packet in the oven and don't touch it for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the beets are fork-tender
While these are cooking, chop up walnuts and put them into a pan over low heat
Toss occasionally until the walnuts are lightly toasted 

After the walnuts are done, let them cool off and get started on peeling the oranges and cutting them into slices
When the beets are done, take them out of the oven and open the foil packet
It'll be all steamy and smell good
 Let the beets cool off.  You have to take the skin off of the beet, but that's the messy part so I looked up how to do this and found a cool trick.  Run the beet under cold water as you gently rub the skin off, and the dye will wash away with the water, staining your fingers minimally.
Cut the beets into fourths and toss with the oranges and the walnuts
Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some sea salt
The dye from the beets will turn the oranges a beautiful pink 
This is a perfect, non-traditional salad or side dish and was lovely with some chickendorisgordon!

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