This salad is from the amazing Plenty by one of my culinary heroes, Yotam Ottolenghi. I received this book as a birthday gift a couple of years ago, and I have made many of the recipes. They are no fail vegetable dishes, as much a feast for the eyes as the tummy. This man really has a way with vegetables, and I am a huge fan of middle eastern flavours and inspirations. His recipes never disappoint. My recipe is only slightly different from the original.
It is an impressive salad for a special occasion (it has a lot of “wow” factor), but is also a great option for any old dinner. The list of ingredients is quite short, and the dressing is as simple as it gets. Preparing the oranges is the most labour intensive part of the dish, but once you get the hang of it it is quite simple. I cheat a little with the beet preparation. Beets take a long time to boil. The first time I made this salad I cooked the beets from scratch, peeled, sliced, let them cool, and got very red in the process. I then discovered that you can buy pre cooked, GMO free beets for the same price as what I paid for my bunch that I had cooked. There are no other ingredients listed on the package, just beets. They are already peeled and ready to use. I love having a pack in the fridge.
Beets are a great source of phytonutrients. The deep red colour of beets is a sign of the antioxidant power of this superfood. They are high in Vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium, manganese and magnesium. Beets are an excellent detox support, helping your liver move out broken down toxins from your body. Beets are also quite high in carbohydrates, so while they are an amazing addition to any diet, use common sense in how often you eat beets. They have a high sugar content, but also a high fiber content, which is a good thing!
Radicchio is also a great source of plant phytonutrients and antioxidants. It is in the chicory family and is considered to be a bitter herb, great for digestion. This is an ingredient that I have been using a lot lately. It adds vibrant colour to any salad, a satisfying crunch, as well as a bitter taste that pairs nicely with a tangy salad dressing. Including radicchio in your diet is a great way to consume bitters. For more information about the health benefits of bitters, check out my post Bitters for Better Digestion.
- 5 small beets (either cheat like I do, or boil until soft, peel and cut in 1/8s)
- 3 navel oranges
- 1 large radicchio, sliced in approx 1/2″ shreds
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/4c kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 3 tbsp grapeseed or avocado oil
- 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
If you are boiling your beets, place cleaned beets in a pot and cover with cold water. Boil for about an hour or until tender. Leave them to cool in the water. When they are cool, peel them and slice in wedges. If you are cheating, open the package and slice your beets… voila. Put the beets in a mixing bowl.
For the oranges, use a sharp knife to slice off the tops and bottoms of the oranges. Following their natural curves, use a knife to remove the skin and white pith, being careful not to cut away too much of the fruit. Cut the sections away from the membrane over a bowl, catching the juice. Add the oranges and juice to the mixing bowl.
Chop the radicchio and parsley, slice the onion, and halve the pitted olives. Add everything to the mixing bowl.
Make the dressing in a small jar, you likely won’t need it all for the salad so keep it in your fridge for another salad. Dress the salad and toss it gently with your hands. This salad looks very pretty on a platter.