Alive with color, this salad combines earthy flavors with the vibrant colors of red beets and bright blood oranges. It’s undeniably good for you and definitely delicious. On salad plates it’s a great first course; on a large serving platter it’s a gorgeous addition to an array of antipasti. Use the tops of the beets for Roasted Beet Green Gratin tomorrow.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1⁄2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
- 4 medium red beets, well rinsed, tops cut off
- 4 teaspoons plus 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 blood oranges, cut into segments over a bowl, juice reserved
- 4 cups arugula, loosely packed, rinsed and spun dry
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- Chunk of Pecorino Romano
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are lightly colored and fragrant, about 4 minutes, shaking the pan midway through. Set aside to cool.
- Raise the oven temperature to 400°F.
- Rub each beet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Place each beet on a square of aluminum foil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and then wrap it up in the foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. (The tip of a knife should easily pierce the beet.) Remove from the oven, unwrap, and let cool.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them into 1⁄2-inch dice. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the diced beets, the orange segments, and the arugula.
- Make a vinaigrette by combining the orange juice with the red wine vinegar and the 1⁄4 cup olive oil. Dress the salad and toss gently. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Divide the salad among four serving bowls. Sprinkle the salads with the toasted pistachio nuts and a generous grating of Pecorino Romano before serving.