I really like this salad. I called it “fancy” because to me it just looks like something that’s a little extra special, not something you would eat on an everyday basis. It’s totally acceptable to serve to guests at your next dinner party.
It’s also totally acceptable to eat the whole entire thing yourself when you’re eating lunch at home all by yourself and you just want something delicious and healthy. That may or may not have been how I ate mine…
When I was thinking about this salad, I was actually kind of scared to try cutting the peel off the orange since I had never done it before. I just felt like it wouldn’t really work and I would just end up with a puddle of orange juice and mangled orange. But, it was actually super simple and worked really well! So don’t be scared. Just use a good sharp knife to make sure you get a clean cut.
The dressing on this salad is about as simple as it gets – a bit of olive oil and vinegar. For the vinegar I used a head ancho vinegar by Chaparral Gardens that is made here on the Claifornia central coast. I LOVE this stuff. I discovered it at the grocery store a while back and I’ve been using it on everything, from dipping bread to salad dressings.
If you can get your hands on some, definitely do so. If you can’t, just use white wine vinegar or any other vinegar you please.
As a final note, I used Love Beets organic cooked beets in this recipe. They’re awesome because you can buy them pre-cooked and all ready to go at the grocery store, so you can skip the whole roasting and peeling parts. To top it off, I actually saw a couple people who work for Love Beets at the Natural Products Expo West this weekend and we got to chat a bit! So fun.
I also got to try their shredded smoked beets and holy smokes (pun intended). They were so good! I never would have tried them if I saw them at the grocery store because they sound kind of weird, but they were amazing. They would make a fantastic sub for shredded smoked meat on a sandwich. Just sayin. Give them a try next time you spot them!
And if the beets you buy still have the leaves attached, use them in our recipe for sauteed beet greens with garlic.
Note: this recipe wasn’t sponsored by Love Beets or Chaparral Gardens, I just really like their products 🙂Print
This fancy beet & orange salad is really simple, but is sure to impress any guests you have. Or you can eat it all by yourself, for a nutritious and tasty lunch at home. Baby spinach (or Kale), pine nuts, goat cheese, and couscous round out and compliment the flavors of the beets and oranges
- 2 large handfuls salad greens, such as baby spinach or baby kale
- 1 cup cooked couscous*
- 1 orange
- 2 small cooked beets
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese*
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp head ancho vinegar or white wine vinegar
- freshly cracked black pepper
- leaves from 1 sprig thyme
- Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and top with the cooked couscous.
- Use a sharp petty knife to cut a 1/4″ off the top and bottom of the orange, then place the orange on the cutting board with a cut side down. Cut the peel off the orange in 1/2″ sections from top to bottom, following the contours of the orange. Remove any remaining pith, then cut the orange across the center into 1/8″ rounds. Lay the cut oranges on top of the couscous and salad.
- Cut the cooked beets into 1/8″ rounds and add to the salad. Top with the crumbled goat cheese and pine nuts.
- Mix the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl, then drizzle on top of the salad. Top with black pepper freshly ground with a pepper mill and thyme leaves and serve.
– I used a couscous medley from the supermarket. You could use a variety of other grains in this recipe, such as cooked barley, farro, wild rice, or black rice.
– Omit the cheese for an equally delicious vegan version.
If you loved this salad as much as I did, let us know in the comments below and please give it a rating!
If this recipe tantalized your tongue, then these might be for you:
- Coconut Ginger Roasted Kale with Beets, Farro, and Goat Cheese
- Autumn Apple and Radicchio Salad
- Pear Salad with Fried Goat Cheese and Maple Vinaigrette
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 12th, 2014. Last updated: October 7, 2020 at 15:26 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).