Chameleon Roasted Beet and Blood Orange, in Fish Tacos or with Cocktails, from Salads Beyond the Bowl

What's not to like in a chameleon like recipe that can add a new dimension to various dishes cocktails.

With one of her creations from Salads: Beyond the Bowl (Kyle Books, May 2012), Mindy Fox achieves just that.

Roasted Beet and Blood Orange pico de gallo

The versatility of this salad perfectly captures the spirit of this chapter—I’ve tucked it into fish tacos, generously spooned it over double-thick pork chops and served it with cocktails as part of a mezze. The beets and oranges for this dish are cut into forkful-sized pieces, which I like, even for tacos, but they can also be chopped into smaller pieces, as for classic salsa.

Serves 4 to 6

4 medium beets (about 1 pound), trimmed

3 medium blood oranges

13 cup very thinly sliced red onion

1 small hot chile, very thinly sliced crosswise

1 tablespoon very good extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Fine sea salt

2 tablespoons thinly sliced cilantro leaves

Flaky coarse sea salt

Beet and Blood Orange

Preheat the oven to 400ºF with the rack in the middle.

Put the beets in a baking dish and add water to come about 1/2 inch up the side. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast the beets until they can be easily pierced through to the center with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour or more, depending on the size of the beets. Uncover and let the beets stand until cool enough to peel.

Meanwhile, using a sharp paring knife, trim off the tops and bottoms of the oranges. Stand 1 orange on its end and carefully cut the peel and pith from the flesh, following the curve of the fruit from the top to the bottom.

Cut each section away from the membranes, and place in a large bowl.

Squeeze the juices from the membranes into the same bowl. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

Peel and cut the beets into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, then transfer to the bowl with the orange sections and juice. Add the onion, chile, oil, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, then gently toss to combine. Let the salad stand at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes, then adjust the salt or vinegar to taste, if necessary (the acid will vary a bit, depending on the juiciness and acidity of the oranges).

Transfer the salad to a shallow serving bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro, then crush a few generous pinches of flaky coarse sea salt over the top to taste.

(* Recipe from 'Salads: Beyond the Bowl' by Mindy Fox- Kyle Books, May 2012- Photos by Ellen Silverman, reproduced with permission of publisher

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