Technically spring starts today, but given we have snow forecast, it’s easy to think otherwise. The weather is definitely a little confused. It warmed a bit recently and so I was inspired to make this beetroot and blood orange salad. I think I was trying to tell myself spring might almost be here, and for a few bites, it worked. Like the weather, there are still the overhangs of winter in the root vegetables and citrus we can find at the moment. The more spring/summer produce is only creeping in, unless it is not local. This beetroot and blood orange salad makes the best of both by using some of the more ‘wintery’ ingredients but in a tasty spring-like salad.
Bridging the seasonal divide
I guess you could say this is thinking along the same lines as my chard pesto and mozzarella orzo bake in trying to transition from winter to spring. This salad is more of a jump than a dabble in the spring part. Maybe it’s partly because we still have lots of snow outside and so only a few plants are getting the chance to even peak through the ground let alone flower, plus it’s got colder again, but I need to convince myself spring is on the way in other ways. Not that I don’t like winter food. I really do, but after a while you need a change, don’t you agree?
Make aheads and simple swaps
As I note in the recipe, cooled, roasted chunks of beetroot work really well in this. I often roast beetroot to use as and when I need it when I’m roasting other things – they’ll keep a few days fine in the fridge. I appreciate you may not be thinking that far ahead, so bought ready-cooked would work as well. Just don’t get pickled as that really won’t. If you don’t have pomegranate molasses/pomegranate concentrate then you can make a citrus dressing instead. All you do is swap the pomegranate for orange juice and use a little more, probably, to get the flavor. However I would recommend the pomegranate dressing as it really adds to this beetroot and blood orange salad. The slight syrupy texture and intense flavor work really well with the other ingredients.
This beetroot and blood orange salad is really easy and quick to put together but has a fantastic mix of textures, flavors and colors. It works well as a lunch, appetizer or side dish, though the dressing may not go with everything. It’s a great way to enjoy a lighter dish while still using the best seasonal ingredients. It would be perfect to brighten a winter’s day, or as for me, help you feel spring is almost on it’s way. Plus, you can make it again in minutes when you need some more.
A simple, tasty combination that makes a great appetizer or light lunch.
- 1 beetroot large, either pre-cooked or see below
- 1 blood orange
- 2 handfuls arugula rocket or use mixed greens
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp pistachios
- 1 oz soft goats cheese 25g, approx
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses pomegranate concentrate
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp virgin olive oil
If you can, peel, dice in approx 3/4in/2cm pieces and roast the beetroot pieces tossed in a little olive oil until tender, around 45-60mins. Allow to cool. I would do this if I was already using the oven for other things, but it's probably not worth the effort otherwise.
If using pre-cooked beetroot, peel and dice the beetroot.
Peel the orange and cut in to rings then slice larger ones in half.
Place the arugula on two plates and lay the beetroot and orange on top and scatter over the cranberries and pistachios.
Whisk together the pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar and olive oil and drizzle over the salads - you may not need all of it - and serve.
Try these other seasonal salads:
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