Red Leaf Salad with Roasted Beets, Oranges and Walnuts

By Teresa Parker
July 6, 2009
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Author Notes: Seems to me beets and oranges are a classic winter salad combination that you see everywhere. Beets and walnuts are too. This one has both, but no red onions and no cheese (often a players with the beets and walnuts). My friend Sophie's dad, Jim Broderick, gave me the idea that really makes this salad great: fennel and orange rind in the dressing. The oranges and beets are best tossed in at the last minute, when you dress the salad to serve it, lest the o-juice and beety color run amok.Teresa Parker

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 medium beets, trimmed and scrubbed
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 navel oranges, peel zested and fruit sectioned
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed, dried, and torn into pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the beets on one half of a large piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt. Fold the foil in half to make a packet and roll the edges to seal. Lay on a baking sheet, and roast until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool. Peel the beets, and slice into 1/2-inch thick wedges.
  2. Zest one orange -- you need 1 teaspoon grated zest. Using a very sharp knife, cut the ends from the oranges, slicing just deep enough to expose the flesh. Cut off the remaining peel and pith. Then, working over a bowl, remove the segments, cutting between the membrane.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, orange zest, fennel seeds, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil. Adjust seasoning.
  4. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, beets, and walnuts. Drain the orange sections and add them to the salad. Pour in the dressing and toss to mix. Adjust seasoning.

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