This is an excellent winter salad platter. Arugula, cilantro, and blood oranges provide the freshness we crave in the middle of winter while roasted beets, nuts, and dollops of pesto give it substance.
I've written this recipe as a buildable formula rather than a structured recipe. The essential components include a base of greens (I chose arugula) mixed with fresh cilantro to give a citrus-y, pepper-y foundation, roasted beet wedges, blood orange slices, toasted nuts, French vinaigrette, and dollops of a flavor-packed dip or spread.
Today's version uses pesto as the spread and pistachios, along with a few additional hits of flavor from semi-dried cherry tomatoes and optional crumbled goats cheese. But I recently made another favorite version for a dinner party with dollops of a simple homemade harissa (recipe coming next week!), pumpkin seeds, and omitting cheese and semi-dried tomatoes.
These two versions are riffs on a theme; the variations are endless. Whatever you swap in and out as toppings over the base of greens, herbs, beets, and orange, you'll be guaranteed a beautiful presentation with flavor and substance to back it up.
Roasted Beet and Blood Orange Salad
Notes: This is an excellent winter platter salad. Use it as a buildable formula and adapt it to what you feel like. The core components are greens, herbs, roasted beets, orange slices, nuts, French vinaigrette, and dollops of a high-flavor spread. Pesto can be swapped out in favor of this roasted red pepper spread, pumpkin seed salsa, harissa, or another vibrant vegetable-based spread.
- 2 medium beets, rinsed and scrubbed clean
- Few handfuls of arugula
- Small handful (15 gr.) cilantro, leaves & tender stems finely chopped
- 2 small blood oranges, peel removed and sliced into thin rounds
- 10 semi-dried cherry tomatoes
- Handful goats cheese, crumbled (optional)
- Handful of toasted pistachios
- Dollops of pesto
- French vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 215 C/420 F.
- Remove ends from beets and trim away any dry or rough pieces of skin. Halve beets and cut each half into approximately 8 thin wedges, to yield 16 wedges per beet. Place on a lined baking sheet. Toss with avocado oil (or coconut oil/ghee), salt, pepper. Spread out in a single layer where beet wedges are not touching. Roast 15 minutes, or until edges have browned and beets are tender with a bite. Let cool.
- Place arugula on a large serving platter. Add cilantro and gently toss with your hands to distribute it throughout arugula.
- Lightly drizzle French vinaigrette over arugula and cilantro. Arrange cooled beets, blood orange slices, semi-dried cherry tomatoes, pistachios, and goats cheese on top. Add dollops of pesto and finish with another drizzle of vinaigrette. Serve immediately.