The inspiration for this stunning salad started with the inaugural event of OC Bites last Saturday; sponsored by Melissa’s Produce , with the always charming Cathy Thomas entertaining us and signing her new cookbook Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce.
Attendees, an enthusiastic and friendly group of food lovers, received a copy of the book and a gourmet lunch entirely made from this season’s finest, organic produce from Melissa’s and prepared by the three talented founders of OC Bites: Chef Renee Fontes, Chef Louise Mellor, and Chef Debbie Dubbs. I’m so excited about what this group is planning and I encourage you to join if you’re a food writer, food lover, or adventurer!
Now on to the recipe for the salad! And, I see you drooling over the luscious berries and chocolate 🙂 I WILL get the recipe for the coconut rum sabayon sauce that was served along with the chocolate for a sensuous (but healthy) dessert! You don’t have to save these elegant, but easy, recipes for Valentine’s Day!
Unlike chocolate, beets are widely misunderstood and it seems that most people either love them or hate them. I happen to love beets now, when I was a kid – not so much. Fortunately, the last few years have seen a boon in beet’s popularity largely due to mainstream restaurants including roasted beets in salads paired with goat cheese or topped with feta on their menus.
Citrus and beets are another great duo as you’ll discover once you take a bite of this visually arresting salad which balances the earthiness of beets with the sweet-sour flavor of blood oranges. Pomegranate seeds are the third red component and add a delightful crunchy-pop texture and beautiful garnish for the presentation.
Red Times Three Salad
From Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce, by Cathy Thomas | Serves 6
3 blood oranges*
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
3 to 4 medium beets, roasted, peeled and sliced**
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Optional garnish: crumbled goat cheese
1. Using a microplane, zest (grating off the colored portion of the peel) one orange before removing the peel from the oranges. Use a sharp knife to remove the peel from all the oranges: slice off top and bottom of each orange, place cut side down on work surface and cut off peel and pith in strips, cutting from top to bottom following the contour of the fruit. Cut oranges into crosswise slices about 3/8-inch thick.
2. Prepare vinaigrette: In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine zest, vinegar, and salt; stir to dissolve salt. Whisk in oil. Add onion and basil. Stir and taste: adjust seasoning as needed.
3. Arrange beet slices in single layer on 6 salad plates. Top with orange slices, arranging them in single layer so part of the beet slices show. Stir vinaigrette and spoon over beets and oranges. Top with pomegranate seeds. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.
*If blood oranges aren’t available, substitute navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges or tangerines. Rather than a Red Times Three Salad, you’ll have a flavorful salad of beautifully contrasting colors of red and orange 🙂
Blood oranges have an orange skin with deep purplish-red blush. The flesh is a deep crimson color (or streaked with crimson) and often more mature fruit has more of a blood-red color like the one above. They are easy to peel, often seedless, and less acidic than other varieties.
This salad was SOOOOO delicious. It was also the last thing I ate before the flu killed my tastebuds! 🙁
It was great to see you at the event, and wonderful meeting Cathy. I still can’t get over how awesome all that produce from Melissa’s was.
Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!!
Magic of Spice
I love that pic of you 🙂 I have made a similar salad to this one for years but without beets…love this!
5 Star Foodie
An amazing salad, I love the idea of the combination of blood oranges and beets, excellent!
The Duo Dishes
Lucky you! That salad does sound amazing. So fresh and tangy with crunch!
Jennifer @ A Busy Nest
I was unaware of this cookbook. Thanks so much! You have beautiful photos.
this is a nice colourful salad
Wow that salad is so pretty! 🙂
Kate @ Diethood.com
I play around with beets all the time, but never thought to mix it up with blood oranges. What a wonderful idea!
That looks just lovely.
Kate @ Diethood.com
P.S. All this time I’ve been trying to figure out who you remind me of… now I know … You look just like Valerie Bertinelli 🙂
I’m glad you all are enjoying the vibrant colors and flavors of this salad! It was so refreshing after all the comfort foods of winter.
@Kate – Lol, it’s been awhile since I heard that, heard it a lot when we were both younger and she was on “One Day at a Time”. Thank you for the wonderful compliment 🙂
Citrus is such a delicious pair with beets…I’ve never had beet salad with blood oranges, but I can imagine that it is a fantastic combo! And that is a really beautiful spread of food!
Wow! How fun and what beautiful photos!
This salad looks awesome as does the OC Bites event. Hopefully I can join you guys some day fro all this fun and food!
Oh, if only it didn’t have beets! They are about the only food I don’t like. It’s beautiful, that’s for certain.
You have an award waiting for you here: http://ravienomnoms.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/day-5-of-detox-and-awards/
I too feared beets until a couple years ago 🙂 Now I’m in love! The blood orange is such a great addition, really bringing out all those beautiful red tones in the dish.
wow You look so beautiful on the picture! Blood orange salad looks gorgeous!