If you worry that Autumn signals the end of bright, colorful salads, then you clearly haven’t tried this one.
The boys over at The Bitten Word brought this salad to my attention. A couple of weeks ago, they decided to include their readers in an October food magazine cover to cover challenge. They had a huge response, and found themselves with the daunting task of assigning 350 recipes from 6 of their favorite food magazines. I was assigned to Team Food Network Magazine, specifically this No-Cook Beet-Orange Salad from the latest edition.
Raw beets remind me a lot of raw corn – they’re very sweet, earthy, and a little starchy. The creamy, tangy goat cheese is a nice accompaniment, along with the sharp bite of the vinegar and the crunchy nuttiness of the pepitas. If you think you don’t like beets, try them raw – you might change your mind.
Luckily, I’m a fan of beets, so this salad was right up my alley. The original calls for chioga or golden beets, but I was only able to find golden and red when I went to the store the other day. The only downside to this is that red beets stain EVERYTHING, so it’s best to add them at the very end to avoid turning your whole salad pink. I also used toasted pumpkin seeds in place of the Marcona almonds because we’re a mostly tree-nut-free household.
Having a mandolin is certainly beneficial here, but it’s by no means a requirement. You want to slice your beets paper thin, so if you use a knife make sure it’s super sharp.
You’ll need three oranges for this recipe – one to juice, and two to segment. If you need to learn how to supreme an orange, this is a good tutorial from Coconut & Lime.
No-Cook Beet-Orange Salad
adapted from Food Network Magazine, October 2012
prep time: 20 minutes
yields: 4-6 servings
- 3 beets, sliced very thinly on a mandolin
- 2 oranges, supremed
- 2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper
- Combine the beets, oranges and herbs in a shallow serving bowl
- Dress with the dressing
- Garnish with goat cheese and pumpkin seeds