This salad was one of my favorites last summer, and now that I have buckets of beets from my Mamma's garden, I'm making it again. The mint gives it a new twist on the typical "beets and orange" flavor, and makes it SUPER yummy and refreshing.
You might try it even if you're not a huge beet fan, it could surprise you. It does require a bit of planning ahead, but the cooked beets can sit in the fridge several days 'till you're ready.
And by all means, ALWAYS use fresh (not canned) beets!
Baby Beets and Greens Summer Salad
- 4 cups baby spinach, baby arugula or mixed greens (I used some purslane; even baby beet greens are nice here)
- 10 - 12 baby beets
- 1/4 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts, pistachios or pecans
- 1 orange, blood orange or two tangerines, peeled, sectioned and sliced
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh orange, blood orange or tangerine juice
- 1/4 cup maple, agave or brown rice syrup
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. hazelnut or grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
- 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
In a saucepan place cleaned beets with enough water to cover. Add rice vinegar, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until beets can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from heat, strain beets and allow to cool. Cut beets in half or quarters and refrigerate until ready to use.Vinaigrette:
Combine juice, syrup and rice vinegar in a bowl. Slowly drizzle oils in a steady stream while whisking continually to create an emulsion. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use. Stir in chopped mint when ready to serve.