Roasted beets marinated in a honey citrus vinaigrette are served with sweet juicy oranges, creamy goat cheese and crunchy pistachios on a bed of arugula. This easy to make, Moroccan inspired, vibrant colored salad makes a delicious first course, side salad or a light and healthy main course.
This contrasting burgundy red and orange colored salad packs a lot of flavor. Citrus adds a burst of fresh sweetness that marries well with the savory beets. Creamy goat cheese and crunchy pistachios are also a winning combination. The honey citrus vinaigrette with cumin and cinnamon, spices that you often find in Moroccan food, goes will with the peppery arugula. The end result is a delicious and healthy salad that I believe you and your guests will enjoy. What is especially nice about this quick and easy salad is that it can all be prepped ahead of time and put together right before serving if you are entertaining guests.
Beet, Orange And Arugula Salad With A Honey Citrus Vinaigrette
Serves 4, adjust the recipe accordingly
- 4 roasted and peeled beets, cut into 6 wedges each (you can substitute canned beets)
- 2 oranges, peeled and segmented (I used Navel)
- 1/4 onion, cut into small slices
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. goat cheese crumbles or to taste
- 1/4 c. shelled, roasted pistachio nuts
- 5 – 6 oz. baby arugula or greens of your choice
Honey Orange Vinaigrette
- 1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tbsp, honey
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. onion powder
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
- 1 – 2 Tbsp. finely chopped mint
Segment the oranges over a bowl to catch the juice. Also squeeze the remaining remnants to extract all the juice (you should have about a 1/4 cup of juice) for the vinaigrette.
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, the seasonings, zest, cilantro and mint. Taste and adjust, if necessary, by adding either more lemon juice or honey, to balance the flavors to your own preference. Toss the beet wedges and onion slices with a little of the vinaigrette and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or more. When ready to serve, toss the arugula with a couple tablespoons of the vinaigrette and pile on a platter. Arrange the marinated beets and oranges on top then sprinkle with the goat cheese and pistachios. Drizzle a little of the remaining vinaigrette over the oranges and serve.
If roasting the beets, choose ones that are small, firm, deep colored and have unblemished skin. Roast without peeling, the skin rubs off easily under cold water after cooking.
I like to use fully cooked and peeled beets that you can find in the refrigerated section of the produce department. You can also use canned beets.
The beets can be marinated the day before, the flavor will actually improve.
If you do not have 1/4 cup of retained juice after segmenting the oranges, you can squeeze a couple of the segments for additional juice.
Make sure when you zest the orange to avoid the white pith or the zest will be bitter.
Do not toss the beets and oranges together. Also do not assemble the salad too early before serving or the oranges will pick up the color from the beets and they will turn pink.Notes From The Kitchen
While you might think of this beet, orange and arugula salad as being seasonal, I enjoy it anytime of the year. I hope you will give it a try, either as I have suggested, or make it with ingredients of your own choice. I used Navel oranges but Cara Cara or Tangerines would be great. Instead of goat cheese, feta or bleu cheese would be good alternatives. Toasted pecans or walnuts would be equally good in this salad if you don’t care for pistachios. Enjoy!