Beet and Orange Salad

 This week I…

  • Hosted two dinner parties with great friends.  
  • Ate dessert every single day (Ok, I’m lying… I had dessert twice on Tuesday)
  • Ordered tickets for the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Don’t judge…)
  • Spent an entire afternoon napping with my cat.
  • Deleted my myspace account because of their lame privacy policies
  • Went to a cooking class at PCC. (I won’t give it all away, but just know that there are very delicious things heading your way via this blog.)   
  • And I made this salad. 

I’ve been craving oranges for some time now so I’ve been scheming about how to use them in a salad.  I think I’m just getting anxious for clementine season.  The sweetness of the oranges compliment the beets nicely.  Even for people who aren’t a big fan of beets, I bet you could handle this one.  

The oranges also serve a nutritional purpose in this salad because your body needs to have Vitamin C along with greens in order to properly absorb the iron.  The olive oil also adds a nice fat to help with vitamin absorption.  

This salad comes together very quickly and is perfect for a dinner party because you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time.  I actually cooked the beets the night before and left them in the fridge to cool because I wanted them served cold.  This recipe will serve a light salad for four or a larger salad for two.  If you do not have sherry vinegar on hand, you can easily substitute red wine vinegar or some apple cider vinegar in the dressing.

Serves 2-4
1 bunch fresh spinach leaves
3 navel oranges
5 beets (I used red, but you could use any variety of your choice)

Dressing: 
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the beets and trim off the greens and pointy ends. Place the beets on a sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Cover with a light coat of olive oil and wrap the foil over them so they are covered. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until beets are soft, but not slimy.

Mix the ingredients for your dressing together and set aside.  Slice your oranges.  I found this easiest to do by slicing the ends of the oranges off first and then cutting the rest of the skin away with a small paring knife.  I then sliced the oranges into thin slices.

Once your beets have cooked and cooled, slice them into medium slices (about 1/2 inch thick) and plate your spinach.  Arrange your beets and orange slices in alternating layers atop the spinach and cover with the dressing.  Garnish with some parsley. 

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