the taste space

Roasted Beet, Orange and Brown Rice Salad with an Orange Sesame Vinaigrette

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by Janet M on January 25, 2012

Here we go, another salad with roasted beets!

I just can’t get enough of them.

This time I used red beets. There are a few differences between red and golden beets:

1) Golden beets are more mild and taste sweeter.

2) Red beets bleed. They make me look like I’ve been bleeding. Golden beets don’t bleed.

3) Red beets make my pee turn red. Golden beets do not.

Please don’t be alarmed at the red pee side effect of loving beets.  In the summer, my pee turned red but I couldn’t recall eating any beets. I was worried something was wrong. Until I remembered that I had ordered an apple, ginger and beet juice at the restaurant. That was the culprit! Sure enough, by the next day, my pee was back to normal.

Beets work well with a lot of different flavours, but they definitely pair well with orange. I really enjoyed my chilled Orange and Beet Soup with miso, dill and carrots, and thought this rice-based salad sounded great. Adapted from Appetite for Reduction (original recipe posted here), beets and brown rice (wild rice would be good, too!) are coated in a zippy Asian-inspired orange sesame vinaigrette. Freshly squeezed orange juice is key to keeping this a light, flavourful dressing. The salad is spiked with currants for additional sweetness. Pile it overtop your favourite greens for a lovely meal-sized salad.

Keep all the components separate to maintain freshness… and keep the beets sequestered, else they will turn everything pink. Pink rice, ok, maybe do it just for kicks. :)

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to Simple and In Season, to this week’s Wellness Weekend and to this month’s citrus love blog hop.

Roasted Beet, Orange and Brown Rice Salad with an Orange Sesame Vinaigrette

1 lb beets, roasted

1 navel orange, supremed (or more)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled (wild rice was suggested in the original recipe)
1/4 cup dried currants
8 cups mixed baby greens

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 to 3 navel oranges)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1. For the roasted beets, preheat the oven to 425F. Peel and slice/chop the beets into medium-bite-sized pieces, but put all the pieces back together again. Wrap in tinfoil and roast for at least an hour. Roasting times will depend on the size of your beets. They are ready when they are easily pierced with a fork. Be careful when handling the hot beets, because they can easily leak. Set aside to cool.

2. Prepare your dressing, by mixing the orange juice, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, salt, chili flakes and ginger together.  Store separately until ready to dress the salad.

3. For the salad, gently combine the cooked rice, currants, orange pieces. Once you add the beets, the mixture will turn pink, but I see no harm in that.

4. Keep each component refrigerated until ready to eat. When ready to serve, plate baby greens, top with the rice mixture, and drizzle with the dressing. Devour!

Serves 4.

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17 Responses

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  1. Sarah B @ Bake + Bike said, on January 25, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    haha I had the pink pee problem this summer as well – kind of alarming until I realised the cause!

    This salad looks fresh and zesty!

  2. Stash said, on January 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I’ll be making this when beets become available at our market. Count on it. ;)

  3. jane said, on January 25, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    haha, it is like beets should come with a warning label! lol! Looks really good!

  4. Ashley said, on January 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I love beets too! But you know I haven’t tried this salad yet haha. One day when I feel like fruit in my salad I will though.

  5. Genevieve said, on January 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I had my eye on this recipe from Appetite for Reduction too….I like your changes – good to know it works well with brown rice because I prefer that over wild rice. I also like your explanation of the difference between golden and red beets! I’m glad I’m not the only one with the pee symptoms – I’ve read that a certain proportion of the population will experience it, but also that its more likely among those with iron deficiency so that makes me worry sometimes!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      Hey Genevieve, Yup – you’re right. The red pee doesn’t happen with everyone and can be exacerbated by iron deficiency but it can happen in normal people, too. My informal poll tells me 3/4 people I know get red pee.. 2 people declined to comment based on their low beet intake. :P The literature says more like 10-15% of people get red pee, though. ;)

      • Genevieve said, on January 25, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        Thanks for the extra info! Your very scientific survey is reassuring ;)

  6. Joanne said, on January 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    sigh. I’m really trying to love beets. Like…really. Maybe I just need to stick to the gold ones? This salad sounds like it’s something I would love otherwise!

  7. Oh, I have been in a beets kick right now. I have made them in chips, roasted, pureed, steamed… you name it. I love this recipe because I just know that the earthiness of the beets must well beautifully with the brown rice and oranges. Can’t wait to try this!

  8. Richa@HobbyandMore said, on January 29, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    oh yes.. the red pee.. and the red cutting boards and the red fingers:) but i love the deep red beets more than the others for some reason.. love this fresh citrusy salad. we had something similar today with some spinach hummus, made it into quite a meal. the roasted beets also taste much better in smoothies.

  9. Deb in Hawaii said, on January 29, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I need to cook more beets. ;-) This looks and sounds delicious with the orange and sesame dressing. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  10. [...] to something savoury now, as Janet from The Taste Space came back with a very virtuous Roasted Beet, Orange and Brown Rice Salad with an Orange Sesame Vinaigrette. Delicious! I love how Janet always comes up with really interesting dressings, don’t [...]

  11. Fabulicious Food! (@RenBehan) said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    Thanks for your great entries this month to Simple and in Season! I love your salad dressings. Just posted a round-up today featuring your entries. Ren x

  12. [...] will admit that when I mentioned my pee turns red after consuming red beets, I thought I was in the [...]

  13. [...] Cool Slaw (recipe elsewhere) – Roasted Beet, Orange and Brown Rice Salad with an Orange Sesame Vinaigrette – Sushi Roll Edamame Collard Wrap with Green Onion-Miso Vinaigrette – Smoky Split Pea Soup (I [...]

  14. [...] Cabbage Salad with a similar tahini-orange dressing, my orange teriyaki vegetable quinoa bowl or a brown rice salad with roasted beets and oranges with an orange-sesame [...]


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