Bitter Greens Salad With Roasted Beets And Orange Vinaigrette

bittergreens

We just returned to Toronto where almost any type of ingredient is readily available and while grocery shopping recently we made a great find. Although radicchio lettuce is now found in many produce stores, one normally only finds radicchio di Chioggia, which is maroon, round, and about the size of a grapefruit, or radicchio di Treviso, which resembles a large Belgian endive. We were very surprised to find a very rare type of radicchio called radicchio di Castelfranco, which is a ruffled variety that is creamy white in color with burgundy flecks. This rare variety is a little milder than the more common varieties but still has a slightly bitter taste.

We were so excited by our new find that we bought a head of Castelfranco, one of Treviso, and a red leaf lettuce to balance out the salad and created this recipe. I decided to add roasted beets to the salad which are naturally sweet, and dressed the salad with a zesty orange vinaigrette to cut just a little of the bitterness of the lettuce.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Bitter Greens Salad With Roasted Beets And Orange Vinaigrette

Sweet roasted beets balance out the bitter greens in this winter salad perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Head Racchicio di Treviso
  • 1 Head Radicchio di Castelfranco
  • 1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce
  • 4 Green Onions
  • 4 Medium Beets
  • 1/4 Cups Olive Oil
  • 5 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • Zest of 1/2 Orange
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash the beets, remove the stems, place the beets in a casserole dish, and bake until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Remove the stems and tear the lettuce into two to three inch pieces.
  5. Place the lettuce in ice water for 15 minutes, drain, and place in a salad spinner to remove all traces of liquid.
  6. Peel the beets, and cut into 1 inch dice.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Chop the green onions.
  9. Mix together the olive oil, orange juice and zest, and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  10. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle the dressing over top, then toss lightly to coat all of the leaves.
  11. Arrange the dressed leaves on four individual plates.
  12. Arrange the beets and onions on each plate and serve.