Source: The Working Family's Cookbook

Beet and Orange Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
This bright, pretty salad bursts with sweet flavor.
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes oven


2 bunches small beets, tops included
2 medium navel oranges, rind and pith removed, cut into rounds
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the beet greens, leaving about 1/2-inch of the stem. Scrub the beets well; wash the greens in several changes of cold water. Cut the stems off the greens, reserving the stems and leafy parts in separate piles.

Bake the beets, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes until a sharp knife can pierce through to the center. Or in a microwave, arrange the beets in a circle on a plate and bake at medium-high (70 percent) power for 2 minutes. Turn the beets over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer until they are barely tender. Let the beets stand for 5 minutes before proceeding.

Rinse the beets under cold water and drain well. Slip off their skins, if desired, and slice the beets into rounds.

While the beets are baking, in a large pan of salted water, boil the stems for 5 minutes. Add the leaves and boil for an additional 5 minutes until the leaves and stems are tender. Drain, rinse and drain again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tarragon, salt and pepper until well combined.

Arrange the cooked greens around the edge of a medium platter. Arrange the sliced beets and oranges, alternating the overlapping, in a circle on the platter. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Shorten cooking time to about 10 minutes if using a microwave!