Greens with Beets, Oranges and Goat Cheese

Perfect salad for Autumn

I love the combination of roasted beets, oranges and goat cheese. The colors are rather fabulous and seem appropriate for the months as we get to the close of the year. It is a very pretty dish to serve at your table.

I do make this salad all year round. It pairs very well with two of my favorite recipes Herb Roasted Salmon and Pesto Orzo with Roasted Vegetables. However, I view it as a winter/fall salad, as it has beets and oranges, which are really not summer produce. Oranges especially come into season in winter. In the summer months there are so many other things vying for attention, (check out my post on sensational summer salads).

Mixing it up

It is only in the cooler months that this salad has a chance to be center stage. Recently, I have also been adding fennel and, my new obsession, persimmons into the mix, so I felt I should update the recipe so you can add them too. I have only recently discovered persimmons, an orange fruit similar in size and shape to a tomato.

Persimmons

Persimmons have a lovely mild flavor and add a different texture to the mix. Paired with the crunch of fennel, this salad has become a star!

Greens with Beets, Oranges, Goat Cheese and Marconi Almonds

Ingredients (Serves four to six )

  • salad greens of your choice, I like a mix of crunchy and mixed leaf
  • two oranges
  • four beets fresh or vacuum packed (Trader Joe’s or Costco), cut in half and sliced
  • Half a small log of goat cheese, or as much as you like
  • pomegranate seeds (either from a tub or from a fresh pomegranate _Click for video on deseeding a pomegranate, then go and buy a small tub, less dangerous)
  • handful marconi almonds( if you can find them, they seem to be hard to track down) or sliced almonds – optional
  • scallions, thinly sliced – optional
  • half a bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced. Reserve there fronds to scatter on top at the end
  • persimmons, if you can find them. Cut into thin wedges, as you would with a tomato

Orange Balsamic Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons white wine or white balsamic vinegar ( I have recently bought White Balsamic from the fabulous cheese shop) or Trader Joe’s Orange Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 6Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • large pinch of ground mustard seeds
  • salt and pepper

Method

All ingredients can be prepared in advance and then assembled, just before serving.

To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in a jar or other container with a lid, then shake well. This may make more than you need, and any extra will keep happily in the fridge for a few days.

If you buy fresh beets, and the golden ones are lovely in this salad, clean and top and tail them. Wrap in a foil parcel with a little olive oil and cook in 400F oven for around an hour until tender. Once cool, the skin should peel easily.

Segment the oranges by first cutting off the peal and pith. Then with a sharp knife carefully cut inside the membrane of each segment to take out only orange. no skin.

To assemble, toss the salad greens in the orange dressing. Use a small amount of dressing at first, then add more as necessary. Mix the leaves using your hands for best results. You are aiming for a light coating, so be careful not to drench the leaves. I like to use a separate bowl to do this. It keeps the serving dish clean and presentable. I have also started using a shallow or flat serving platter, rather than a bowl, as it shows off the bits of the salad really well.

Cover the base of your serving dish with the dressed greens. Then layer with oranges, beets, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, fennel, crumbled cheese, scallions and almonds. Finish with the fennel fronts and serve.

Insert snippet variableFabulous winter salad using beets, oranges, fennel, persimmons and goat cheese

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