It’s been so long since seeing a rainbow. This has been a hard winter for most of us and everyone I know is more than ready for it to end. Enough snow, ice and bitter cold already!
It might be a while before any of us spot a real rainbow, so instead I offer you a rainbow on a plate: Blood Orange and Golden Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios. This salad offers the rays of a rainbow, from the warm red and orange tones of the blood oranges, the sunny shade of the golden beets, to the greens and purples of the mixed lettuce leaves.
The pot-o’-gold of this salad is the addition of the blood orange. A friend of mine recently told me a story of how she accidentally purchased a bag of blood oranges mistaking them for navels. Her daughter peeled one open and let out a loud “GROSS!” The rest of the bag (be still my heart) got tossed in the trash.
Blood oranges obviously get their name from the bright scarlet flesh but despite their “gross” name, they are far from grotesque. They have a flavor distinct from other citrus, but are a perfect balance of sweet and tart just the same.
All citrus are super nutritious but the blood orange steps it up. The distinctive crimson color means more anthocyanins, powerful plant antioxidants that might help with cancer prevention, heart, and blood vessel health. But the blood oranges are not the only big-hitter in this salad. The distinct purple-y color of “red leaf” lettuce also contains anthocyanins as well. The yellow of the beets partly comes from carotenoids, a family of anti-oxidants important for immune system functioning and vision. And the lettuce contains lots of lutein, an important plant chemical for cancer prevention and heart health.
When assembling this salad there are LOTS of options, all that will turn out tasty and nutritious, so feel free to mix and match.
Beets- I used golden but the typical red variety can be used as well. I served the beets slightly cooked in the microwave to maintain the sunny hue, but oven roasted would be terrific too.
Oranges- I used blood oranges but a simple navel or any citrus sort would also be great.
Pistachio- most other nuts would work well in place of the pistachio, including walnuts and hazelnuts.
Greens- I used a baby spring mix, but this salad would be solid with any variety lettuces, baby spinach, or kale.
Oil- I used Brazil nut oil that I purchased at a fair-trade shop, but any nut oil would work, as would olive oil.
Blood Orange and Golden Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios(inspired by a recipe variation for beets in Mar. 2013 Cooking Light.)
- 4-5 Golden Beets
- 3 Blood Oranges
- 2 Tbsp Brazil Nut Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Shallots, finely minced
- 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups Mixed Field Greens
- 1/3 cup dry roasted pistachios
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (we used Heartland Creamery, Newark, MO)
- Scrub and peel beets; wrap in parchment paper and microwave for about 6-7 minutes. Allow to cool, then slice.
- Meanwhile, cut off ends of 2 of the blood oranges, cut away rest of skin, then slice into 1/4 inch rounds.
- Halve and juice the remaining orange. To the orange juice, whisk in oil, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Pile greens on a plate, top with sliced beets, sliced oranges, drizzle with the blood orange dressing; top with crumbled goat cheese and pistachios.