I love a good roasted beet salad. Usually I just pair the beets with mixed greens, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette, but as we’ve gotten a lot of beets this season, that particular recipe was getting old.
Enter this salad. I love how the brightness of the cilantro, crunch of the walnuts, and saltiness of the cheese combine with the sweet beets. I’ve adapted this recipe a bit from a Michael Chiarello version that called for a few fairly exotic ingredients such as hazelnuts and hazelnut oil. I’m sure they’d be delightful here, but I’m in my hometown in southeast Texas this weekend, and as there isn’t a Whole Foods for miles, I made do with some substitutions. The salad still tasted great. I also sub frozen pearl onions for the fresh ones, which are a pain to peel.
This salad will come together quickly on a weeknight if you roast and peel the beets Sunday night, then chill until you are ready to use them.
Roasted Beet, Onion, and Orange Salad (adapted from Michael Chiarello)
- 1 pound beets, quartered (or halved if they are very small)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 30 frozen pearl onions, about 1/2 pound
- 2 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler or grated on the large holes of a box grater
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the stems and tails off the beets. Do not peel. Line the bottom of a baking pan with foil. Place the beets in the pan and toss them with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.
Toss the pearl onions with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Add pearl onions to the beets and roast an additional 15 minutes, until beets and onions are tender. You should be able to slide a fork easily in and out of the beets.
Peel and remove the membranes from the oranges with a sharp paring knife. Cut the oranges into chunks. I used navel oranges so I didn’t have to worry about seeds.
Peel and quarter the beets. The easiest way to peel beets is to rub the skins off with your fingers. Sometimes a paper towel can help if some of the skins are stubbornly clinging to the beets.
Combine beets, orange pieces, and onions in a platter/
In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, cilantro, and orange juice. Whisk until well combined and season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing on top and sprinkle with cilantro, walnuts, cheese. Serve immediately.