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Asparagus, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad with Burrata

Renée Robinson

It’s Even More Delicious Than it is Beautiful.

As you can see, this is one gorgeous salad. It’s the kind of food I love the most. And this time of year, when asparagus is looking really good, I start eating it in all kinds of ways. As much as I love a quick roast at high heat, I think I love a brief boil best of all. The asparagus stays a little crunchy, but it’s tender and 3 minutes in hot boiling water seems to be the sweet spot where the inherent flavor of the asparagus is concerned. Plunged into ice water, the color stays beautiful and they still taste fresh.

I give thought to the colors of my salads because a pretty plate of food really does enhance my enjoyment of what I eat. This time I lucked into blood oranges, which I probably won’t see again until next year, so I knew I wanted to use golden beets, rather than red beets because those deep red ones would be almost the same color as the blood oranges. If blood oranges are all gone, cara caras or navels would be beautiful and delicious, too, along with red, instead of golden beets.

After roasting the beets with a little olive oil and salt, peeling and cutting them into wedges, I tossed the sliced wedges in a little oil and lemon juice, salt, and pepper, but I reserved the juices left over from roasting them.

I figured those juices would be delicious in the dressing, which also included blood orange juice and zest, lemon juice, a little mustard, and oil. After seasoning it, I thought it needed a tad more sweetness, so I added a little maple syrup and it was now good to go.

Sliced radishes, leaf lettuce, snipped chives, and fresh mint leaves ended up being all that was needed to finish off the salad. Well, almost. Deciding that this salad was special enough to be the main course, the addition of rich and creamy burrata turned it into a full meal. A drizzle of good olive oil, and a few red chili flakes seemed to also be needed. Crusty bread to sop up the juices that were left behind when that milky burrata mixed into the dressing was also an absolute necessity. 

I don’t know about you, but I love eating a plate of food that has interesting flavors and textures in each bite. Big platters of salads offer the best opportunity to indulge my love affair with this kind of food.  A bite of green asparagus, then a bite of floral citrus, followed by deeply earthy beets, along with a crisp bit of lettuce and peppery radish, balanced out with rich and creamy burrata, while having it all napped in a light, but intense dressing? That’s heaven on a plate for me, folks.

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Asparagus, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad with Burrata

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

4

servings

Asparagus, roasted golden beets, sliced blood oranges, red leaf lettuce, and burrata make for a beautiful and scrumptious salad when topped with a dressing made from blood orange juice, beet drippings, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and oil. Gorgeous in every way.

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Ingredients

  • Salad
  • 1 pound golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Morton kosher salt

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed (I had 9 ounces after the ends were trimmed)

  • 4 small blood oranges, or 3 larger sized blood oranges

  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, cleaned and separated into individual leaves

  • 4 red radishes, cleaned and sliced thinly

  • 1 pound burrata, each ball cut or torn in half

  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

  • Handful fresh mint leaves

  • Red chili flakes, such as gochugaru or Aleppo pepper

  • Blood Orange Salad Dressing
  • Reserved juices from roasted beets

  • Juice from one small blood orange (2 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

  • 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, such as grape seed oil or avocado oil

  • Large pinch of kosher salt

  • Black pepper, coarsely ground

Directions

  • Salad
  • Preheat the oven to 375° with a rack in the center. Place the beets on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Enclose the beets in the foil and seal shut. Place the foil packet on a small sheet pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool until comfortable to handle. Using a paper towel, rub the skin off of the beets. Slice the beets into thick wedges and place in a small bowl, but be sure to reserve the roasting juices in a separate bowl. Sprinkle the beets with a large pinch of kosher salt, several grinds of black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
  • Bring a wide pot of salted water to the boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready to go. Add the asparagus spears and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately remove the asparagus from the pot and plunge into the bowl of ice water until thoroughly chilled. Remove from the water and spread out the spears on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry.
  • Slice the peel and pith off the oranges and cut them into medium thick slices. On a large platter, arrange the leaves of lettuce, asparagus, beets, orange slices, radishes, and burrata. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, chili flakes, snipped chives, and mint leaves. Either spoon on some of the dressing or allow each person to add the dressing to their individual plates of salad. I highly recommend serving this with crusty bread in order to sop up the glorious juices. Enjoy!
  • Blood Orange Salad Dressing
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, and set aside until ready to serve.

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