Blood Orange, Beetroot and Kale Salad
This sweet and savoury Blood Orange, Beetroot and Kale Salad is a celebration of some of the finest winter produce. Get the recipe below.
Mixing sweet and savoury
In my Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake recipe I talked about how in love I am with this fierce, red fruit. It’s not only stunning but it also has this wonderful deep, sweet, syrupy flavour that I can’t get enough of. It could be that orange is a versatile flavour, though its probably because the blood orange season is so short: either way I don’t just reserve blood oranges for cakes and desserts. I use them in savoury dishes too.
What are blood oranges?
There are 3 main varieties of blood orange: the ‘Tarocco’, the ‘Sanguinello’, and the ‘Moro’. The different varieties are grown in Italy, Spain and Sicily respectively and they get their distinct colouring from a pigment that is triggered when the temperature is warm in the day but then frops to -1°C or -2°C at night.
What a lot of people don’t realise, is that they are just a mutation of the humble orange we all know and love.
What do blood oranges taste like?
Regular oranges are often quite sour. This is why you will find lots of added sugar in orange juice drinks. Blood oranges, however, are much sweeter with hints of red grapefruit, raspberry and even cherry.
Their syrupy flavour goes well in both sweet and savoury dishes. In sweet dishes, floral notes and aromatic spices add real depth of flavour to stop the final dish being too sickly.
In savoury dishes made with blood oranges (like this salad) I like to create contrast with a hit of salt and then add depth with earthy flavours like leafy greens and nuts.
This recipe really couldn’t be simpler and can be adapted for both a vegetarian and a vegan diet. I start by massaging kale with a little extra virgin olive oil (a lot goes a long way). The I add roasted baby beetroot, slices of blood orange and spoonfuls of (vegan) ricotta. I find vegan ricotta a little more salty than the regular kind so you could use feta or goats cheese instead. Any soft cheese will do.
To finish the dish off I scatter over a tablespoon or two of roasted, flaked almonds. The result is a sweet ans savoury salad that tantalises your taste buds.
Blood Orange, Beetroot and Kale Salad
Prepare the kale
- Place 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil in a bowl along with the kale and a pinch of salt.
- Using your hands, massage the kale until you can feel it begin to soften in your hands and it goes a deeper, glossy shade of green. Place to one side while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
Prepare the blood orange
- Cut roughly 0.5 inch off of the top and bottom of the orange so that it rests easily on your chopping board and so you can see the flesh at the top.
- Starting from the top of the orange place your knife just below where the pith meets the flesh and run you knife down, following the contour of the orange, removing the pith.
- Repeat this by slicing all around the orange, this should remove most of the pith without wasting the flesh.
Prepare your beetroot
- Your beetroot should already be roasted or otherwise cooked. Simply cut the cooked beetroot into halves or quarters depending on their size.
Assemble the salad
- Place the kale leaves on to the plate and then top with the blood orange and beetroot.
- Dot spoonfuls of ricotta over the salad and then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
- Season with a little salt and pepper before serving.
Make it vegan
If you follow a plant based diet like me you will need to hunt down a vegan ricotta alternative My favourite is the ricotta in garlic oil from I Am Nut OK. But, don’t panic if you can’t buy this in a store near you – any soft vegan cheese will do.
More orange recipes
Make these recipes extra special by upgrading to blood oranges!
Do you eat an egg or dairy free diet? Don’t worry! Both the orange & cranberry buns and the mini cheesecakes are suitable for a plant based diet. Enjoy!
Explore more Vegetarian and Vegan recipes
Whether you eat eggs and dairy or not, there are plenty of recipes for you to choose from here at Supper in the Suburbs.