Beetroot salad with oranges is a quick and easy recipe and looks beautiful on the table. Fresh, vibrant and and ready in under 15 minutes.
I make the salad with earthy beets, sweet oranges and an orange vinaigrette drizzle, then pretty it up with tangy goat cheese, nuts and pea sprouts.
I couldn’t resist making this side dish when I came across a similar one on Food & Style. With a few tweaks and what I had on hand, it’s now a new keeper in my collection. I love how the gorgeous colors brighten up the table.
Beets and beetroots are the same thing
Beetroots are a nutritious root vegetable with an earthy sweet taste. In North America, we refer to them as beets. Britain and most of the rest of the world call them beetroots. Other names are table beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet.
What to expect with this salad
- a lovely combination of colors, textures and flavors with beetroot, oranges, goat cheese, nuts, pea shoots and a light dressing.
- a super simple salad assembled in less than 15 minutes if you are buying pre-cooked beets.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Beets/beetroots: Use red beets, golden beets or a combination of the two. Buy them pre-cooked in a vacuum sealed package at the grocery store or Costco. Or roast your own – instructions for roasting are in the recipe card.
Oranges: Cara cara oranges are amazing if you can find them. They are deep red-pink in color (similar to a grapefruit) and have much higher vitamin A and C than regular oranges. But any oranges will do. You can even mix in a grapefruit. If you prefer something non acidic, try papaya. Needless to say, you can experiment with all types of fruits – kiwi, pears, peaches, etc.
Goat cheese: This is an optional garnish. Use it sparingly as it has a strong flavor and you don’t want to overwhelm the other flavors. If you don’t like goat cheese, try ricotta or feta cheese or leave it out.
Pea sprouts: The delicate shoots offer a lovely contrast color. You can substitute them with watercress, mache or other kinds of sprouts. Even baby arugula would work. Or, instead, try chopped parsley or finely slivered green onion (place the green parts in ice water to curl up).
Vinaigrette: We’re using a simple orange vinaigrette dressing, but feel free to substitute your own favorite dressing (not a creamy one).
Nuts or other garnish: Chopped roasted nuts (any kind) add nutty flavor and crunch. Another great option is pomegranate seeds.
Step by step
1. Save the backbone of the chicken to use for making chicken stock.
2. Dry chicken with paper towels for better browning of the skin.
What to serve with orange beet salad
- The key shortcut is to use store-bought cooked beets.
- You can also buy a light vinaigrette instead of making the one in the recipe (which is very yummy though).
- Make the beetroot salad with oranges a couple of hours ahead if you like without the dressing. Drizzle on the vinaigrette just before serving.
- If the salad sits around too long, juices will start seeping from the beets and oranges. Not a problem taste-wise of course. It’s more for presentation. Dab with plate with a paper towel if necessary to soak up the juices.
According the Healthline, beets have excellent health benefits. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and several other key nutrients, yet low in calories and fat.
– Grate them and add them to salads or a risotto.
– Blend them with yogurt, garlic and salt for a dip.
– Slice beets thinly and add them to a grilled cheese sandwich
– Make a beet and goat cheese appetizer with puff pastry
– Use the juice to make these pretty fresh Vietnamese rolls with a twist.
Here’s a great little video on how to peel and segment an orange without the membranes.
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Beetroot Salad With Oranges
- 2 cooked whole beets, Note 1 (or 3 small)
- 2 large fresh oranges, Note 2 (use a little for juice in vinaigrette)
- 2 ounces goat cheese, Note 3 optional
- handful of pea sprouts or mache or watercress
- 1/4 cup toasted chopped nuts, any kind optional
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or sub, champagne vinegar or rice wine vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (or less)
- 1/2 teaspoon honey or more to taste or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon each, salt and black pepper
- PREPARE ORANGES and BEETROOTS: Peel oranges and cut into sections in between the membranes on cutting board. Alternatively, cut into orange slices 1/4 inch/63 mm. Here is a video on how to peel and segment an orange. Slice beets into thin wedges or half rounds. Note 4 to roast your own beets.
- MAKE VINAIGRETTE: Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk well to blend. Taste and adjust to your liking.
- ASSEMBLE SALAD: Scatter orange segments and cut beets on a serving platter. Garnish with a little goat cheese (crumbled), pea sprouts and nuts if using around the beets and oranges. Drizzle on vinaigrette just before serving. You may not need it all. Serve at room temperature.
- Beets: Cooked beets come in a vacuum sealed package. If you want to roast your own, buy raw medium or small beets. Red or golden or both.
- Oranges: Cara cara oranges are amazing if you can find them. But any oranges will do – navels, blood oranges, valencia, even mandarin oranges. You can even mix in a grapefruit. If you prefer something non acidic, try a papaya. Needless to say, you can experiment with all types of fruits – kiwi, pears, peaches, etc.
- Goat cheese and substitutes: This is an optional garnish. Use it sparingly as it has a strong flavor and you don’t want to overwhelm the other flavors. If you don’t like the flavor, try mild ricotta cheese or salty feta cheese or leave it out.
- How to roast beets: Cut off the green stems of the beets. Scrub the beets under running water to remove dirt and sand. Oil the beets, then wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place them on a foil-lined pan (in case they drip) and roast for about an hour or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Over the sink, slide off the skins. Wash your hands right away to avoid stains from the beet juice.
- Other variations:
- Pea sprouts: If you don’t have pea sprouts, watercress, mache or other kinds of sprouts , you can use chopped parsley or fine slivers or curled green onion (place them in ice water to curl up).
- Vinaigrette: Feel free to substitute your own favorite citrus vinaigrette or another type (not a creamy one).
- Nuts or other garnish: Instead of nuts, try pomegranate seeds.
- Make Ahead: You can make the beetroot salad with oranges a couple of hours ahead without the dressing. Drizzle on the vinaigrette just before serving. If the salad sits around too long, juices will start seeping from the beets and oranges. Not a problem taste-wise of course. It’s more for presentation. Dab with plate with a paper towel if necessary to soak up the juices