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Roasted Radicchio, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad

Renée Robinson

Quickly Broiled Radicchio Wedges are a Surprise Ingredient!

I’ve been making a lot of winter salads lately. The apples and pears are so good now. But it’s the citrus I love most. No surprise there for my followers. And of course citrus and beets are a classic combination for a reason. The acid in oranges balances out the earthiness of beets perfectly. 

But I wanted more substance in this salad because it was the only thing I was serving with a simple pork tenderloin. Well, that’s not exactly true. Bread was also served, but that’s just a given in my home. If I’ve got juices on my plate, crusty bread will always be there to sop it up. 

The beets happened to be really nice at my supermarket, so I bought several bunches and roasted all of them, saving the rest for later in the week. Right next to the beets were beautiful heads of radicchio, so that got me to thinking. Why not broil some wedges of radicchio until they soften up some and get a little charred? The bitterness of radicchio is well suited to this treatment. It sweetens it up a little and the texture would be really nice in this salad. 

Then when I ran into blood oranges, the salad really took shape. The floral sweetness of blood oranges would be perfect for the beets and radicchio. All those colors and flavors were going to be something special. I emphasized the orange flavor by zesting the blood oranges and sprinkling it on top of the salad. Be sure and use a sharp knife to remove the peel from the oranges. You don’t want any of the white pith to remain on the oranges. Just slice off the tops and bottoms, stand them on end and slice down from top to bottom in order to remove all the peel. You can then trim off any remaining pith you may have missed. 

Pomegranate arils were a natural addition. The bright pops of tart/sweet flavor are fantastic in salads. This led me to choose pomegranate molasses for the dressing. I only added Dijon mustard, a little garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. The dressing needed nothing else.

But I chose to add one more element to the salad. Chunks of aged cheddar. I’ve mentioned this previously, but the difference between average cheddar cheese and really good aged cheddar is immense. Good cheddar is so complex in both taste and texture. English or Irish cheddars are my particular favorites. Those salty and rich bites of cheddar were scrumptious with the rest of the salad. 

I’ve talked about my enjoyment and enthusiasm for salads many times, but I think it bears repeating that there is no food in which I get more pleasure. It delights me to take bite after bite and find something different in each forkful. They are as interesting to eat as they are beautiful to see. And I’m a firm believer in the old adage that we eat with our eyes, as well as our mouths. All of my senses are on alert when I serve a pretty salad with surprising ingredients. 

Well, that’s it for this recipe. I loved it, as did my family. Plus, we had leftovers and it was just as good the next day. That makes for a winning recipe in my book.

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Roasted Radicchio, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

4-6

servings

This beautiful salad is full of interesting flavors. Broiled radicchio, roasted beets, blood oranges, pomegranate arils, and chunks of aged cheddar are dressed with pomegranate molasses, Dijon mustard, a little garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Easy and exquisite!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound 1 red beets, scrubbed

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Morton kosher salt

  • 2 heads 2 radicchio, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise into quarters

  • 3 3 blood oranges, zested (reserve the zest), peeled, and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

  • 2 tablespoons 2 pomegranate molasses

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 Dijon mustard

  • 1 small 1 garlic clove, grated

  • 3 tablespoons 3 extra virgin olive oil

  • Black pepper, coarsely ground

  • 4 ounces 4 aged cheddar cheese, broken into rough bite size chunks

  • 1 handful 1 flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 pomegranate arils

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Scrub the beets and trim the ends so they will sit flat. Place the beets on a large square of foil. Drizzle them with a little olive oil, encase in the foil, folding the ends tightly. Place the packet on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, I like to peel them by rubbing off the skins with a paper towel. Reserve the juices from the roasted beets. Cut the beets into 1/2 inch thick wedges, sprinkle on a little salt, and place them in a bowl. Set aside. This can be done early in the day, or even the day before and kept refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before assembling the salad.
  • Preheat the broiler, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Trim the end of the core on each head of radicchio. Slice each head into 4 wedges, keeping the cores intact. Place on a foil lined sheet pan and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the reserved beet juices, pomegranate molasses, Dijon mustard, and grated garlic. Whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • On a large platter, arrange the radicchio, beets, and orange slices. Drizzle with half the dressing. Scatter the cheddar cheese, parsley, and pomegranate arils on top, along with a few grinds of black pepper. Add as much of the reserved orange zest as you’d like, while freezing the rest for future use. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side and Enjoy!

3 Responses

  1. I love this recipe except I really dislike beets! Roasted radicchio, oranges, cheddar, herbs – it sounds amazing. What can I substitute for beets? I have tried so hard to like beets but just can’t past the flavour profile. I have tried yellow beets, red beets, orange beets but the earthy flavour just doesn’t do it for me, unfortunately.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi, Lynne! If I were you, I would substitute a pound of carrots for the beets. Cut the carrots in 2 inch lengths and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I’d roast them at 425°, checking them after 15 minutes. You’ll want them to soften, but not turn into mush. So they should maintain some firmness in the center. Keep testing, by poking with a paring knife, until they are done to your liking. I think carrots would be delicious in this salad. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!!

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