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Pomegranate, Beet Salad with Blood Orange and Mint (Gluten-Free)

Recently, I've learned to love the lowly beet. The beet is a rich, earthy wonder. Served chilled in a salad, beets make the perfect summertime delight. This intense beet salad is accented with blood oranges, mint and feta cheese, makes a truly bold statement. Served over mixed greens, it is sure to delight your guests.

The finished pomegranate, beet salad. Photo: CC-ulterior_epicureIngredients:
6 medium beets
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 blood oranges, peeled, cut into1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup pomegranate seeds (from one 11-ounce pomegranate)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
12 mint leaves, sliced thin on the bias
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup blood orange juice (from about 1 blood orange)
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses*
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut stems from beets, leaving 1/2 inch attached. Clean beets well and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

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Place beets in roasting pan and toss with 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover pan with foil; roast beets until knife easily pierces center, about  45 minutes-1 hour. Cool. Peel beets and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges.

Whisk orange juice, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl to blend. Add lemon juice, olive oil, shallots. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix beets, orange slices, and pomegranate seeds in bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss. Season salad with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with mint and top with crumbled feta cheese, and serve over mixed greens.

 *A thick pomegranate syrup available at Middle Eastern markets, some supermarkets, and by mail from Adriana's Caravan (adrianascaravan.com).

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