Gorgeous on the outside . . .
Stunning on the inside . . .
Perfect in a winter salad.
One of the truly bright spots in an otherwise dreary winter is the appearance of seasonal citrus in the market -- especially my favorite, blood oranges.
The uncharacteristic deep red blush on the outside of this amazing orange is a giveaway that there is something unusual and delightful on the inside.
Slice one open and take in the wonder of the truly blood red flesh or the orange. Just one taste and you are hooked. The sweet, tangy citrus flavor mingles with the suprising red, ripe flavor of berries. Too, too unbelievably good!
Thank goodness the season for blood oranges comes when it does. I'm always ready for salads by the time the dead of winter gives way to tiny crocus bulbs and precious extra minutes of light at the end of the day. I want to rush headlong into spring, so I tend to force it with salads.
And thank goodness that the season for blood oranges is short. Their fleeting appearance portends the changes to come -- a reminder of the cycle of life.
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819
ROASTED BEET AND BLOOD ORANGE SALAD
6 c. mixed tender lettuces
2 c. roasted beets, peeled and diced
2 blood oranges (or any orange), peeled, sectioned & sliced
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
½ c. toasted pecans, roughly chopped (I used Sugar and Spice Pecans)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub whole beets in skins. Place inside large sheet of foil and fold into sealed packet. Roast beets until tender all the way through – about 45-60 minutes. Cool, slide skins off and dice beets. Cut small piece off both ends of orange; slice downward to remove all peel and white pith. Slice horizontally into ¼-in. rounds, or between membranes for vertical slices. Heat pecans in a skillet over medium heat, stirring and turning until warm and fragrant; cool and chop. Layer individual salad plates with lettuces, beets, blood oranges, goat cheese and toasted pecans. Serves 4-6.
1/4 c. light olive oil
1 orange – 1 tsp. orange zest + squeeze juice to add to dressing
1/4 c. raspberry or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients; stir to blend thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste.