Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Fennel, and Mint
I like to use citrus in salads in the wintertime because it’s a refreshing change during a season of richer, heavier foods. This salad is layered rather than tossed so the beets won’t stain the other ingredients.
Serves 6 to 8
6 medium beets, red, golden, or any other variety, or a combination), trimmed of greens and washed well
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 navel oranges, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored, and sliced into thin slivers
1 small red onion, sliced into very thin rounds
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Place the beets on a baking sheet with sides or in a large, glass baking dish. If you’re using a combination of red and golden beets, separate them to prevent the red from bleeding onto the golden. Pour the orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of water over the beets and season with salt and pepper. Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and roast the beets until they’re tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and let the beets cool to room temperature. Reserve the cooking liquid.
3. Peel the beets and slice them into 1/4-inch rounds. Arrange the beets, oranges, fennel, and onion on a platter or on individual plates, placing contrasting colors and textures next to one another.
4. Pour the reserved beet liquid over the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and top with the crumbled goat cheese, chives, and mint. This is best served just after it’s dressed.