July 29, 2010

Beet Salad with Oranges and Toasted Hazelnuts


I make this salad all year round, although it’s especially good in the fall months when oranges and beets are abundant in the market and you need a little reminder of summer.  However, this was made a few days ago for a BBQ and served up with these oysters and crab fresh off of the boat. 




8 – 10 medium beets (bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a baseball)

1 C. hazelnuts

3 oranges

1/4 C. olive oil

1/4 C. cranberry juice cocktail or cran-raspberry juice or 100% cranberry juice with a little honey added

1 clove garlic, finely minced

sea salt


salad greens

asiago or parmesan cheese for shaving

Scrub the beets and cut off the stems, leaving an inch or so attached to the beet.  Place beets in a large sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring them to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fork tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, place hazelnuts in a small sauté pan and toast over medium high heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Let them cool and then coarsely chop them.

For the dressing, zest and juice one of the oranges.  In a small re-sealable container combine zest, orange juice, olive oil, cranberry juice, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Shake (over the sink , with your hand over the lid) until dressing is combined.  Set aside.


When the beets are fully cooked, remove them from the stove and carefully drain them.  Beet juice stains everything it touches! You can actually use it to dye Easter eggs, but that’s for another post.  Run cold water over the beets until they are cool enough to handle.  Gently squeeze the beets between your fingers to slide the skins off.  A rinse of cold water will remove any last bits.  Trim the ends and slice into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a large bowl.


Peel and slice the remaining two oranges into small segments.  I find it works best to cut the bottom off of the orange so I can keep it from rolling around on the cutting board and then slice the peel off with a knife.  This way all of the bitter white pith is removed.


Place the oranges in the bowl with the beets and stir in the dressing.


Arrange the salad greens on a platter.  Spoon the beet mixture on top of it.  Sprinkle with hazelnuts and then uses a vegetable peeler to shave parmesan (or asiago) over the top.


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