Here’s a fresh Blood Orange and Beet Salad to welcome spring into your kitchen. I know in Boston, it might technically be spring, but it still feels like winter. We are expecting 10 or more inches of snow this week. This salad has hints of spring, but is loaded up with juicy winter citrus and topped with a tangy hazelnut citrus vinaigrette. It basically works for both a chilly snow day, or a sunny, early spring day.
I started testing out various ideas for this salad after I had worked on a few too many sweets that included citrus. I decided that it was time that my pants fit again, so I dreamed up a salad that could include the tangy citrus flavors that I have recently loved baking with.
The vinaigrette for this salad was inspired by a recipe from David Lebovitz. He uses hazelnut oil in the dressing for his Winter Salad with Pecans, Pears, and Gorgonzola. The flavor created by combining the olive oil with hazelnut oil is quite unique, and gently highlights the flavor of the toasted hazelnuts in the salad.
I used arugula for this salad but you can use any seasonal or preferred green. The arugula adds nice flavor and a bit of spice to the salad, but definitely go with a different green if you find one that interests you at the market, or you are not a fan of arugula. I also added a handful of tarragon to the vinaigrette and topped the salad with a little more tarragon. Again, if you are not a big tarragon fan, substitute another freshly chopped herb in it’s place. Thyme and even parsley would both be lovely substitutions. Fresh herbs are a fantastic addition to a salad.
Toasting the Hazelnuts:
This part is easy. Toast 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts at 300° for 8-10 minutes. Allow hazelnuts to cool and reserve for finishing up the salad.
Making the Vinaigrette
I find using a recycled jelly jar to be my favorite way to make a salad dressing. For the vinaigrette you will combine all of the ingredients in a jelly jar and shake it up. I like to run the freshly squeezed orange juice through a mesh strainer. This is a personal preference. I find it easier in terms of eliminating citrus seeds in my vinaigrette.
Putting the Salad Together:
Next, you’ll arrange the greens and then slice the oranges and beets. For the oranges, cut both ends off of the orange, stand the orange on one of the flat ends, and cut away all of the peel. Next, lay the skinned orange on its side and thinly slice the orange. Arrange the slices on top of the arugula. Finally, you will thinly slice the beets and add them to the salad.
Top the salad off with the cooled hazelnuts, feta cheese, a handful of freshly chopped tarragon, some golden raisins and you are done! I typically pour the vinaigrette into a small pitcher so that people can dress their own salad, but you can certainly dress the entire salad before serving.
This recipe will make four decent sized salads and could serve up to six people if used as a side dish. Up to you! Enjoy!
Blood Orange & Beet Salad with Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar could also use sherry vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed about 1/2 large orange
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1/4 tsp Papa Joe's Salt or combination of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup roasted hazelnut oil
- 4 oz arugula
- 6.5 oz roasted beets, thinly sliced I use Love Beets from the grocery store but you could also roast your own
- 2 large blood oranges peeled and sliced into thin circles
- 1 large orange of your choice (I used Cara Cara) peeled and sliced into thin circles
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/8 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
- Preheat oven to 300°. Spread hazelnuts evenly on a quarter sheet pan. Toast hazelnuts for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette
- In an empty jelly jar or glass measuring cup combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients as listed. Shake or whisk to combine.
Assembling the Salad
- Place the arugula on a large platter or in a large salad bowl. Arrange the sliced beets, orange slices, feta, toasted hazelnuts, and golden raisins on the top. Sprinkle the chopped tarragon over the salad.
- Once you are ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad or serve the dressing on the side in a small pitcher. Once the salad is dressed, serve immediately.