Wilted Beets, Greens, Red Cabbage and Tangerine Salad
One day last week I went to the refrigerator looking for something to fix for lunch. I found a wealth of winter vegetables and tangerines that can sometimes feel limiting. This entrée salad begs to differ.
The bright red and purple colors of beets, red cabbage, and red onions stand in contrast to the hearty beet greens. Tangerines, orange vinegar, and sweet Mirin balance all that earthy flavor. Nutty pecans and tangy blue cheese make this salad pop! The bonus is that these winter ingredients are full of super food greens and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents in the red beet pigment.
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4 entrée servings
½ cup pecan halves
1 bunch beets with beet greens (2 large or 3 medium beets + greens)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, halved, ¼ inch slices
2 cups red cabbage, roughly chopped in ½ inch pieces
5 ounces mixed baby greens
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
1 tablespoon Mirin rice cooking wine
2 large tangerines, peeled, sectioned, cut in half
½ cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the pecans on a ceramic pie plate and roast in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, about seven minutes. Remove and cool.
2. Cut the beet stems from the beet’s roots leaving one-inch of stems attached to the roots. Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately one to one and a half hours until the beets are thoroughly tender. Remove from heat and drain. While still hot, peel with your fingers (wearing non-latex gloves will prevent your hands from turning purple) under cold running water. Cut the beets into ½ inch pieces. Reserve warm.
3. Meanwhile, remove the stems from the beet leaves. Wash both stems and leaves thoroughly. Cut the stems into one-fourth-inch pieces. Cut the leaves across in one-inch ribbons. Reserve both separately.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or non-reactive saucepot over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers add the onions, beet stems, and red cabbage. Cook for three minutes, stirring frequently until slightly softened.
5. Add the baby greens and beet greens to the pan. Toss with tongs until barely wilted. Toss in the beets, salt, vinegar, and Mirin. Taste, Think, Transform with salt, vinegar and/or Mirin.
6. Place on a serving platter or individual plates. Top with tangerine sections, toasted pecans, and blue cheese (if using). Serve warm.