Beet, Citrus, & Chicory Salad with Ricotta Salata and Pistachios
A perky little salad full of bitter, sweet, salty, and tangy flavors to refresh your palate during the depths of winter.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Vinaigrette (makes enough for 2 salads):
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Salad (makes 4 servings):
- 3 medium beets of any color
- 3-4 large oranges, grapefruits, or other citrus fruits
- 4 cups leaves from chicories (endive, escarole, frisee, Treviso, radicchio, or a mix)
- 1/3 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- 2-4 ounces ricotta salata, thinly sliced
- flaky salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small jar, combine the shallot, fine salt, vinegar, and olive oil, shaking well to combine and dissolve the salt. Store at room temperature until needed, up to several days.
Trim the tops and tails from the beets but leave the peels on. Rinse of any sandy or mud, and place the beets in a small saucepan. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the beets can be pierced easily with a fork, anywhere from 30-60 minutes, adding more water to the pot as needed. Remove the beets and let cool. They can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to several days.
To make the salad, slice the beets in half lengthwise and cut each half into thin wedges. Cut the top and bottom off of the citrus fruits and use a paring knife to peel away the skin and pith from the outside of the fruit, following the curve of the fruit. Cut out the segments from the membranes, holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juice (and drink it!).
Toss the chicory leaves with 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette to coat them lightly. Spread on a platter or divide among 4 shallow bowls. Scatter with the beets, citrus, pistachios, and cheese. Drizzle with a little more dressing, and sprinkle with a bit of flaky salt and black pepper. Serve right away.
Feel free to use any variety of chicory, citrus, or beets you like here. Endive tends to be the most mild of the chicories, followed by frisee and radicchio, with escarole and treviso tending toward more bitterness.
Sweet citrus, such as in-season navel oranges, help to balance the bitter endives, but use any that you like; I used 2 very sweet oranges and 1 grapefruit.
I've had the best luck with red and yellow beets, but striped chioggas are beautiful, too. If you dislike beets, try this with thinly sliced fennel instead.
Nutritional values are based on one of four servings.
Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 654mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1430IU | Vitamin C: 59.1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1.5mg