Blood oranges add a beautiful burst of color and flavor to winter, and this easy and delicious beet and blood orange salad is the perfect way to enjoy some as lunch or an appetizer. Bright, light and tasty!
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Many winter foods are all about keeping us warm, it seems, like comforting stews and soups (I have many here, do take a look around!). With the cold we've had recently, we've needed it! The produce fits as well - root vegetables shine when roasted, like maple roasted buttercup squash and hasselback sweet potatoes.
Then there's winter citrus which adds a bright, lighter freshness to the otherwise heavier winter foods.
When I first shared this salad, technically spring was about to start as it was mid March. But given snow was forecast, it was easy to think otherwise.
I had come up with this salad on a warmer day, as I started to think more spring-like thoughts, then ended up eating it on a cold day to convince myself it was going to get actually get warm soon.
I made this salad again recently and was reminded what great flavor and texture it has. It's easy to make and is the perfect salad to bridge the winter produce with a sense of spring (real or hoped for).
Steps to make beet and blood orange salad
- Roast the beets ahead of time, or use pre-cooked, and cut into bite-size chunks.
- Peel and cut the blood orange in to slices - I prefer to halve the slices for this (or even smaller).
- Divide the arugula/rocket between two plates and top with the beet chunks and orange slices.
- Sprinkle over the goats cheese, cranberries and pistachios.
- Whisk together the pomegranate molasses, oil and balsamic vinegar and drizzle over the top.
What beets are best in this recipe?
As I note in the recipe, I ideally use cooled, roasted chunks of beet in this. I often roast beets to use as and when I need when I'm roasting other things - they'll keep a few days fine in the fridge. Whole roasted beets are great for things like beet carpaccio and you can use them here, too, just chunks cook a bit quicker and will get those slightly caramelized edges.
I appreciate you may not be thinking that far ahead, so bought ready-cooked beets would work as well. Just don't get pickled as that really won't work flavor-wise.
What is pomegranate molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is a kind of syrup made from pomegranate juice that is common in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a great sweet-tart flavor. I used some in my pomegranate tabbouleh and you'll find it in a number of Turkish and Persian dishes.
I can actually get it at my local supermarket, but if you don't have pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate syrup/concentrate as it can be called) then you can make a citrus dressing instead, like the orange dressing in my spinach pomegranate salad.
However I would recommend the pomegranate dressing if you can, as the slight syrupy texture and intense flavor work really well with the other ingredients.
This beet and blood orange salad is really easy and quick to put together but has a fantastic mix of textures, flavors and colors. 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.
Try these other seasonal salads:
- Winter beet salad with persimmon and goat cheese dressing
- Fennel citrus salad
- Pear gorgonzola salad with candied pecans
- Winter fattoush salad
- Plus get more appetizer recipes in the archives.
Beet and blood orange salad
- 1 beet (beetroot) large, either pre-cooked or roasted, see below
- 1 blood orange
- 2 handfuls arugula rocket or use mixed greens
- 2 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoon pistachios
- 1 oz soft goats cheese approx
- 3 tablespoon pomegranate molasses pomegranate concentrate, or a little less, to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon virgin olive oil
- If you can roast the beet, I'd recommend you do - peel, dice in approx ¾in/2cm pieces and roast the pieces tossed in a little olive oil until tender, around 45-60mins, at 400F/200C (a little lower is fine). Allow to cool. I would do this if I was already using the oven for other things, and fine to do a day or two ahead, but it's probably not worth the effort otherwise.
- If using pre-cooked beets, 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.
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I first shared this recipe in March 2015 and updated, primarily with new photos.