Roasted Beets and Arugula Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Beets can seem intimidating but they don’t have to be. They just take a long time to cook.
Beets can be cooked many different ways, this is how I like to cook beets:
Slow Roasting Beets in Water. 1 1/2 lbs of beets, tops and bottoms trimmed, washed and scrubbed of all dirt. Preheat oven to 425F. Place beets in a baking dish or roasting pan and fill the pan halfway with water. Add a handful of salt to the water and on the beets. Cover with foil and bake until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Halfway through the cooking process, turn the beets. If the beets are very large, it may take more than an hour for them to finish cooking. When beets are tender, remove them from the water and let them cool down enough to handle. The best way to remove the skin is to use a paper towel and rub the skin off. Beets can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
A helpful tip to keep your hands from turning red when removing the skin or slicing, is to wear gloves. It really helps!
Orange Vinaigrette (makes 1 2/3 cups)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 of a small onion
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients in a blender except for the olive oil. Once the shallot is blended well with the liquids, slowly pour in the olive oil while the blender is still running. Whisk in the oil by hand instead of blending. For some reason, blending extra virgin olive oil for too long can make it really bitter and it can ruin your vinaigrette.
To make the salad, toss the vinaigrette with washed and dried arugula (try beet greens or green leaf substitute of your choice), season with a couple pinches of salt, and placed sliced beets over the top. Great additions to this salad: crispy onion, crispy bacon, goat cheese, walnuts.