Oranges and beetroots are a delicious combination to have as a salad or starter in the wintertime. This salad is an old favourite of mine that I come back to every year. I’ve used blood oranges today as they’re in season, but navel oranges are also very good or try a combination. This is a super healthy salad to help ward off the winter chills.
See www.redbellycitrus.com.au for more information about blood oranges.
Photography by Andrew Sikorski
- 1 bunch (4 medium) beetroots
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 blood or 4 navel oranges
- 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful of walnuts, toasted (optional)
- 1 bunch rocket and/or young beetroot leaves, washed
- Try to buy beetroots of a similar size so they cook in the same time. Make sure the roots and stems are intact. To prepare the beetroots, cut the tops off leaving about 4cm of the stems attached, but don’t trim the roots. Save any small beetroot leaves to use in the salad. The beetroots can be cooked ahead of time.
- Wash and place the beetroots in a steamer basket in a saucepan and add the bay leaves, salt and water just up to the beetroots. Bring to the boil, cover and gently simmer until tender 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To test if beetroots are cooked, pierce with a fork.
- Alternatively the beetroots can be baked in a moderate oven. Wrap them individually in foil with a bay leaf and bake until tender. This takes longer, but the flavour is wonderful.
- To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper in a jar. Add the oil and whisk again or shake.
- Drain the beetroots and place in cold water, slip off the skins with your hands. (To avoid staining hands, rub them with a little olive oil first). Cut beetroots into 1cm slices and while still warm, mix with half the dressing.
- Take a sharp serrated knife and using a sawing action, cut the peel off each orange in a spiral. Do this over a plate to collect the juices. Be sure to remove all the pith. Cut the oranges into 1cm slices and set aside. Add the saved orange juice to the remaining dressing.
- Arrange the rocket leaves and baby beetroot leaves on a large serving plate. Lift the beetroot slices out of the dressing and place on the leaves. Lay the orange slices over the beetroot and spoon on the remaining dressing.
- Finally, scatter the roughly chopped walnuts over the salad if using and serve.