I love red-fleshed fruits and vegetables!

Red Times Three Salad showcases three of my favorites: blood oranges, red beets and pomegranate seeds.

It looks stunning – but it’s the flavors that will win you over!

Blood orange’s sweet-sour flavor profile has a subtle note of raspberry. It pairs beautifully with the earthy edge of beets. I use Melissa’s ready-to-eat peeled and steamed baby beets – they are so convenient and beat the heck out of steaming and peeling raw beets.

The salad comes together quickly; the fruit and vegetables are assembled on a platter and a frisky vinaigrette is spooned over the top. A few pomegranate arils (seeds) are sprinkled on top along with a handful of microgreens.

Cheese or no cheese? It depends. If serving vegans, serve crumbled goat cheese on the side (goat cheese and beets are a classic combination). Otherwise feel free to sprinkle it on top of the salad. It’s up to you!

Just the thought of this salad makes me hungry!

The recipe is part of the Orange chapter in my book, “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Orange Produce (Wiley, $29.95).”

Red Times Three Salad
Yield: 6 servings
3 blood oranges, see cook’s notes
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 small red onion, cut into thin slivers (soak slivers in ice water for 20 minutes, drain and pat dry)
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
3-4 medium beets, about 9 ounces, cooked, peeled, sliced, cooled OR contents of one 8-ounce box of Melissa’s ready-to-use steamed and peeled baby beets
Optional garnish: handful of microgreens
1 pomegranate seeded, about 1 cup
Optional garnish: crumbled goat cheese, see cook’s notes

Cook’s notes: If blood oranges aren’t available, substitute navel oranges, or Cara Cara oranges, or tangerine sections. If desired, garnish salad with crumbled goat cheese or toasted French baguette slices slathered with Brie.

  1. Remove zest (colored part of peel) from 1 orange and mince; set aside. Use a sharp knife to remove skin from all the blood oranges; to peel, slice off top and bottom of each orange to expose flesh, then place cut side down on work surface and cut off peel and pith in strips, cutting from top of bottom following the contour of the fruit. Cut oranges into slices about 3/8-inches thick. (Save the top and bottom ends of the oranges – squeeze the juice out of them onto the finished salad.)
  2. Prepare vinaigrette: In glass measuring cup or bowl, combine zest, vinegar and salt; stir to dissolve salt. Whisk in olive oil.
  3. Arrange beet slices in single layer on salad plates. Top with orange slices, arranging them in single layer so part of the beet slices show. Add onions and basil. Stir vinaigrette and spoon over beets and oranges. Top with pomegranate seeds. If desired, garnish with microgreens and, if desired, garnish with crumbled goat cheese. Or top with Brie spread on toasted baguette slices.

Nutritional information (per serving): Calories 230; fat calories 160, total fat 18 grams; sat fat 2.5 grams, cholesterol 0 milligrams; sodium 230 milligrams; total carbohydrates 17 grams; fiber 2 grams; sugars 11 grams; protein 1 gram; vitamin A IUs 4%; vitamin C 60%; calcium 4%; iron 4%.