Beet, Orange, and Watercress Salad Recipe

Beet and orange combine to create a simple, seasonal salad that celebrates spring colors and flavors.
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Beet, Orange and Watercress Salad Recipe

An easy-to-make appetizer, idyllic for upcoming potlucks and BBQs. Simple ingredients, bold flavor, beautiful presentation. Could this be your go-to salad of the season? Celebrating everything spring has to offer, this refreshingly vibrant beet orange salad is dressed with a pantry staple vinaigrette and topped with watercress for added texture and nutrition. 

Oranges

One of, if not the, best source of vitamin C (one large orange provides over 100% of RDI), the orange is also a good source of potassium, thiamine, and folate. Like all citrus fruits, oranges are high in carotenoid antioxidants. The most abundant being beta-cryptoxanthin, which the body converts to vitamin A. Oranges and other citrus fruits are high in citrates and citric acid, contributing to tartness in taste. Research has linked citrates and citric acid in oranges to aiding in the prevention of kidney stone formation. Cara Cara oranges (used in this recipe) contain high amounts of the antioxidant lycopene, linked to a variety of excellent health benefits ranging from protecting against sunburn, supporting heart health, and even the prevention of certain cancers. 

Beets

A deliciously versatile vegetable that is easy to incorporate into your diet, beets are also a source of vitamin C as well as folate and fiber, making them an excellent choice for digestive health. In red beets, the pigment color is due to a group of phytonutrients called betalains which are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying agents. The anti-inflammatory properties of betalains are said to aid in the prevention of chronic illness and promote cardiovascular health. Studies have also linked betalains to supporting nerve and eye tissue, far exceeding other antioxidant compounds.

Watercress

Ranked #1 on the U.S. Center for Disease Control's (CDC) powerhouse fruits and vegetables, the small but mighty watercress packs essential nutrients, including over 100% of the RDI for vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin imperative for bone health and blood clotting. A study on antioxidant compounds of 12 different cruciferous vegetables uncovered 40 unique flavinoids in watercress, two of which are lutein and zeaxanthin, both linked to lowering the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration with age. Watercress also contains anti-cancer properties due to a compound known as isothiocyanates. Studies have determined that isothiocyanates reduces the activation of carcinogenic chemicals and blocks the growth and spread of tumors.

Beet, Orange and Watercress Salad Recipe
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings

Ingredients

  • Four oranges (suggest tangelo, blood, naval and Cara Cara for recipe)

  • Golden beets, 1 bunch

  • Red beets, 1 bunch

  • Watercress, handful

  • Olive oil

  • 1/4 Tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • (Optional) 1/4 Tbsp honey 

  • Salt

  • Pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. 
  2. In a bowl, prepare the dressing. Combine the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey and thoroughly mix. Place in the fridge.
  3. Place beets on a baking tray. Generously drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on beets. Roast until tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the beets. Once tender, allow beets to cool before peeling off the skin. Once cooled, cut into 1/4-inch rounds and set aside.
  4. Remove orange rind from fruit and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Optional: Cut oranges into hexagons.
  5. Remove the dressing mixture from the fridge. Slowly stream and whisk olive oil into dressing mixture until desired consistency is achieved.
  6. Arrange the beets and oranges onto a platter. Drizzle dressing mixture and add a handful of watercress to the plate. Top with salt and pepper, to taste.

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