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Author Notes: This winter salad combines a variety of flavors and textures—salty, roasted beet wedges, sweet citrus segments, and creamy, rosemary-flecked honeyed yogurt—for a visually stunning arrangement. I like to use white beets (no stained hands!) and blood oranges (alas, stained cutting boards) for an unexpected color swap, but any variety of beet or citrus fruit will pair wonderfully together. —Maria Zizka
Serves 2 to 3 as a first course
- 5 small beets
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mixed citrus, such as blood oranges, pomelos, or grapefruits
- 1 teaspoon mild vinegar, such as champagne or sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/3 cup thick yogurt, such as Greek style
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- several pinches black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Wash the beets and trim away the wispy roots. (Reserve the beet greens for another use.) In a small bowl, combine the cleaned beets, 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Toss to combine. Transfer the beets to a baking sheet (or a piece of aluminum foil set directly on the oven rack.) Bake about 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, use a sharp paring knife to slice away the stem and blossom ends from the mixed citrus. Cut just enough to expose the flesh below the peel. Set the fruits on a work surface and use the knife to cut away the remaining peel and bitter white pith, following the contour from top to bottom. Locate the thin white membranes separating each segment. Holding the fruit in your hand, insert the knife closely alongside one membrane. Make the same slicing action along the neighboring membrane to release a half-moon-shaped segment. Repeat with remaining citrus.
- Let beets cool until you can handle them comfortably. Slip off the skins. Slice the beets lengthwise into quarters, or smaller bite-size wedges.
- In a medium bowl, combine beet and citrus segments with remaining tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Using your fingers, toss gently to combine. Taste for balanced seasoning, and add salt, pepper, or a splash of vinegar, if needed.
- Using the back of a knife (or a mortar and pestle), crush the rosemary leaves until they bruise and release a fragrant aroma. Finely chop the leaves and place in a small bowl. Add the honey and yogurt, and stir to combine.
- To serve, spread a generous spoonful of the honeyed yogurt in the center of each plate. Mound the beet-orange mixture atop the yogurt.
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