- 2 large beets
- 2 blood oranges
- 3 cups spring salad mix
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup hazelnut oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil with organic blood orange
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts (filberts), roasted and chopped
- Pecorino cheese, grated
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scrub and trim ends and leaves from beets. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil then place them in glass backing dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife tip can easily be inserted into their sides. The foil will keep the juice from burning off, and will create internal steam that helps cook the beets. I prefer this method of cooking because it keeps the nutrients in the vegetable. Once cooked, let them cool completely before peeling and slicing. Roast the hazelnuts in a 400 degree F. oven and watch very closely so nuts do not burn. Toast for 5 minutes, toss, and then toast for another 2-3 minutes or until done.
Peel and segment the oranges, and reserve their juice. Whisk together juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the oils and blend with a hand blender to emulsify, or whisk until emulsified. Toss the salad with dressing to coat lightly. To serve mound the salad on individual plates, top with sliced beets, orange segments and roasted hazelnuts and cheese. The Pecorino adds a pepper taste that offsets the sweetness of the oranges and the beets that I just love. And the hazelnuts have a deep rich flavor that is distinctively a Pacific Northwest taste.