EDISON, NJ - For a nice little salad or side dish, this beet and blood orange salad is great for the color alone.  As a bonus, it’s both sweet and tangy with a bit of heat from red pepper flakes.  The pea shoots provide both a nice crunch as well as a burst of green color to finish the whole thing off.  They also hint of things to come as peas season will be here before you know it as spring creeps every closer.

This couldn’t really be easier which is, as always, a real bonus. It also is very simple and allows the three ingredients to really shine.  As such, use the best quality olive oil you have.  Now’s the time to break it out.

NOTE:  The blood oranges probably have seeds and they will need to be removed.  You can increase or decrease the quantity of the individual ingredients to suite your tastes as well.

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Ingredients:

3 Beets, peeled and sliced

3 Blood oranges, peeled and sliced

2 Cups fresh pea shoots

Olive oil

Coarse sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  While the oven preheats, use a sharp vegetable peeler and peel the beets (yep, your hands will be very red by the end of this).  Slice the beets thinly.

  • Place beet slices in a mixing bowl.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the slices.  Sprinkle them with salt and toss.  Place seasoned slices on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.  Flip the beet slices over and roast another 15-20 minutes or until the beets are just cooked through.

  • Allow beets to cool.  In the meantime, peel and slice the oranges approximately the same size/thickness as they beets.

  • Once the beets are cooled, place in a bowl and toss again with fresh olive oil, coarse sea salt, and red pepper flakes. 

  • Arrange the beet slices on a platter and then place the blood orange slices over the top.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes to all the beets to absorb a bit of the citrus juice. 

  • Place the pea shoots in another bowl and drizzle no more than a tablespoon of olive oil over them.  Very gently toss them to coat.  Add a bit of salt and red pepper flake over the top and place the seasoned pea shoots loosely over the top of the blood oranges.

Serve immediately.  Serves approximately four.

Craig Thiebaud is a Diplomat of Classic Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute) located in SOHO in New York City. After extensive training in the Art of French cooking and professional food preparation in general, he brings his knowledge of food and passion for cooking to us by sharing culinary techniques and creating recipes that mainly use local, seasonal ingredients and can be easily recreated in the home kitchen. Good, wholesome meals for the family can be created quickly with planning, using the best techniques with the best ingredients that are both affordable and available. Let's get back into the kitchen together!