Beet~Blood Orange Salad with Blue Cheese, Mint and Pistachios

Image

“What did the carrot say to the wheat?  Lettuce rest, I’m feeling beet.”  Shel Silverstein

Gorgeous and good-for-you blood oranges are in season and I am finding all kinds of places to use them, both savory and sweet.  Adding them to roasted beets with a shallot vinaigrette on a bed of spinach makes  a really delicious salad.  Blue cheese adds pungent bold flavor while pomegranate seeds bring crunch and a note of brightness.  Salty toasted pistachios are the final layer of flavor in a salad that will wake up your winter tastebuds.  Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that adds tanginess. If you can’t find it, add an extra squeeze of lemon juice to the finished salad. If you can find gold beets, they will contrast nicely with the reds of the blood oranges.  Nutritious, bold and satisfying, this is one gorgeous salad!

image

1 lb of cooked beets, diced in 1 inch chunks

1 lb of blood oranges(5 small or 3 regular sized), peeled, segmented and cut in thirds

3 T mint, chopped

3 T parsley, chopped

3 c baby spinach

3 T pomegranate seeds

3 T crumbled blue cheese or roquefort

2 T roasted and salted pistachios

ground sumac to sprinkle

Vinaigrette:  3 T pomegranate balsamic vinegar; 1 shallot, minced; 1 T honey; 1/4 t ground sumac; 3 T fresh lemon juice; 1/2 c olive oil; salt and pepper.   In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil.  Gradually wisk in the oil to emulsify.

Assembly:  On a platter, place the spinach.  In the center, layer the beets, then the oranges. Top with the mint and parsley.  Sprinkle with the cheese then the pomegranate seeds and finish with the pistachios.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with a pinch of sumac.  You will have vinaigrette left over for another use.

image

Look at all the different colors in those gorgeous blood oranges!

Look at all the different colors in those gorgeous blood oranges!

image

I roasted the beets for this salad.  You could boil them or buy already cooked, vaccum-packed  beets if pressed for time.