I suppose just about everyone at this point has encountered the beet, goat cheese, and spinach salad. It is one of the most prevalent salads around, on countless menus, and for good reason—all the components work incredibly well together. But that doesn't mean you can't improve on a good thing, which is the cue for this recipe from Plenty by London chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
First, there is the addition of oil-cured, shriveled-looking black olives, which are particularly salty. To balance that, Ottolenghi calls for orange supremes (I used a combination of navel and blood oranges) which adds more sweetness to complement the beets. But perhaps the most interesting addition is orange flower water to the otherwise basic vinaigrette, which carries that floral citrus flavor throughout the salad.
The result is just as delicious, but a decidedly more elegant and sophisticated take, on the classic beet salad.
Adapted from Plenty.
- Yield:4 people
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 3-4 medium beets, peeled and cut into wedges 1-inch thick at the base
- 2 large oranges
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and halved
- 6 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 teaspoons orange flower water
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 ounces soft goat cheese
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Arrange the beets on a small baking sheet, cover with foil, and roast until almost tender 25-30 minutes. Uncover and continue roasting until caramelized and soft (but not mushy).
In the meantime, trip the tops and bases off the oranges and cut along the outside of each, turning as you go, to remove the entire peel and pith. Next, remove the segments from the oranges by holding the orange over a bowl and slicing between the membranes. Transfer the segments and juice to a bowl and discard the membrane.
In a small bowl, combine the citrus juice, red wine vinegar, and orange flower water. Whisk to combine, then whisk in the grape seed oil slowly to create the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a serving bowl, combine the roasted beets, onion, spinach, and dressing. Toss to combine, then divide among plates. Serve topped with the olives, orange supremes, and goat cheese.