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.
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!