Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for http://Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for http://Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.
Slowly roasted beets are the star in this hearty winter salad. The fresh fruit segments compliment the splash of citrus in the dressing. I always try to find uses for the peel and zest—seems silly to waste all that concentrated flavor! When I can find good ones, sliced strawberries make a great addition. A delightful balance between tangy and sweet, this salad is pleasant as a starter, but also perfect on its own.
6 ounces fresh baby spinach, or mixed greens
5 beets, about 2-inches in diameter
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
2 teaspoons grapefruit zest
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400° F. Toss beets with olive oil. Wrap beets in a foil pouch and place directly on oven rack. Roast for about an hour, until beets are tender.
Remove from oven and carefully open pouch. Let beets cool for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, zest and honey in a small bowl. Slowly add olive oil, whisking continuously, until well combined.
Peel beets by gently rubbing off their skins. Cut into wedges and season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine spinach and beets with fruit segments. Toss with vinaigrette and top with crumbled feta.