February 8th, 2009

Sweet Beets and Clementines

In this composed salad, the earthy sweetness of beets pairs with honeyed tang of clementines—and their colors are riotously brilliant together, kind of like Mardi Gras.

Those colors can almost get out of control, especially where the beets are concerned. I’ve had numerous bouts of magenta-stained fingertips and countertops to show for it. (Thank goodness that’s only temporary!) In her work, my foodstylist friend promotes golden beets for that reason. And while I do love those golden ones, I think that the traditional deep reds taste a tetch sweeter.

Last week, when another friend served a lively tossed green salad that included shredded beets, she lamented their pervasive staining power.
Do you know about roasting? I asked her. Roasting the beets contains that somewhat, and there’s the benefit of intensified flavor.

It is simple to do: after cleaning the beets, trim the tops (save those beet greens to sauté in a little olive oil, and minced garlic), brush with oil, then lightly salt, and place on a baking pan. Roast in a hot (400-425 degree oven) for about 25 minutes. After cooling, their skins peel right off. Chill them whole, then slice later for the salad.

Yes, there’s still some pooling of color. Gorgeous. It makes me want to pick up a brush and paint.

Composed Roasted Beet-Clementine Salad
1 head Leaf Lettuce, broken into leaves, washed, spun dry
1/2 lb. Beets, roasted, chilled, and sliced
2 Clementines, peeled and sectioned
2-3 oz. Goat Cheese, broken into small pieces
1 batch Clementine Vinaigrette

Place lettuce leaves onto chilled salad plates. Fan out slices of beets and
clementine sections and paint (or squeeze from a squirt bottle) the vinaigrette onto them.
Dust with crumbled goat cheese. Serves 4.

Clementine Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Clementine juice
1 Tablespoon chopped Chives
1 teaspoon Clementine zest
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Dry Mustard
pinch Salt
8 Tablespoons Walnut Oil

Place all ingredients except Walnut Oil into food processor that has been outfitted with the swivel blade. Process, adding walnut oil one tablespoon at a time. (If you don’t have a food processor, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, adding the walnut oil last. The dry mustard acts as an emulsifier.)

Tips: You can readily substitute any favorite citrus
(grapefruit/orange/lime/tangerine…) and use its juice and zest in the vinaigrette.
If you are unable to locate White Balsamic Vinegar, which I found at
Trader Joe’s, then use White Wine or Champagne Vinegar.
The viscosity and subtle flavor of the walnut oil distinguish this dressing.

Posted in Recipes, Salads

7 Responses to “Sweet Beets and Clementines”
  1. Madeleine Says:

    So pretty.

  2. mark Says:


    Great use of ingredients. May I be so bold as to suggest spiced candied walnuts for a little crunch?

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    You may!
    I often enjoy toasted nuts of all types in a salad.
    Because I had served this salad alongside a pasta dish featuring butternut squash and almonds, I decided that would be nuts-a-plenty.

  4. fluffernutter Says:

    Hey good food matters, found you via the Old Spaghetti Factory post on Nashville Scene Bites. I have a question about Goodies Warehouse. I’m working on a book about historic Nashville stuff and Second Avenue. What was the approximate address?

  5. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hey there, Fluffernutter–the actual address for Goodies was
    200 Second Avenue North, which would be hard to find, since it’s a parking lot. There’s a wealth of stories lurking in those old warehouses, existing and not.

  6. bev Says:

    I love the beet and clementine salad recipe.Recently took it to a pot luck dinner to be added to home made chicken pot pies as a main dish. Reluctantly, I admit to be “salad challenged” so any help I can get with salads is most appreciated. I especially loved the dressing. Light with lots of taste. One hint: I wrap the beets in tin foil prior to roasting. I think it goes faster, beets are more tender AND you can use the foil as a means of removing the outer beet skin. When cool, just open the foil and then rub the beets back and forth in your hands. The foil will do the hard work and your hands stay clean….not pink. No knife needed.

  7. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thanks for the excellent tip about the foil; I can’t believe that you are truly “salad challenged!”

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