Swiss Chard Salad with Blood Oranges and Beets
Blood oranges are one of my favorite fruits. A little less sweet than navel oranges, they are nuanced and delicious to eat, and they are uniquely beautiful with their deep orange to ruby flesh. They are so much more sultry than their plain orange cousins. The pigment in blood oranges comes from the presence of anthocyanins, a family of antioxidant pigments common to many flowers and fruit, but rare in citrus fruits. Due to these pigments, blood oranges have more antioxidants than other citrus fruits.
I also love Swiss chard. It is rich in Vitamins A, K and C, as well as manganese, magnesium, iron and potassium. It’s a nutrition powerhouse.
Beets seem to have shed their reputation as the chopped, canned dirty tasting purple option on the Sizzler salad bar. Although they are rich in folate, they are not packed with nutrients, but they make a nice compliment to the other complex flavors and textures in this salad. I declined to use goat cheese because the beet/goat cheese combination has been so overused that it is almost a cliché.
I chose feta instead, and a tiny bit of sliced almonds. I think it came together well. In fact, it’s all I ate for dinner tonight. My husband wouldn’t touch it. I am taking the rest to work for lunch tomorrow 🙂
If you are going to make your own salad dressings in the future (and I highly recommend that you do), you might try getting a salad emulsifier. This is a super handy gadget that perfectly blends salad dressing at home. I bought one for the first time this year and I love it.
- 3 medium sized beets
- 2 bunches organic rainbow Swiss chard
- 2 blood oranges
- The zest from one of the two blood oranges
- 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Several generous grinds of coarse four color pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Scrub the beets well and trim all the greens off of them. While they are still wet, wrap them in foil and roast them at 350ºF for about an hour, or until they are knife tender. Let them cool until they can be comfortably handled and then trim them, remove their skins and chop into 1/2" cubes.
Zest one of the blood oranges and place the zest into a large cup or a salad emulsifier. Add vinegar, pepper, salt and mustard and mix until well blended andn then add olive oil. Mix again, pour over the beats, toss lightly and set aside.
Chop chard. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add chard and saute over medium-high heat until wilted but crisp-tender. Remove from heat, place in a large bowl and set aside to cool. When it is room temperature, add beets and dressing and toss well. Serve with sliced blood orange, sprinkled with almonds and feta cheese.