Sunday, December 11

Roasted Beet, Avocado and WaterCress Salad

This dish features holiday colors and a variety of textures, from crisp watercress and crunchy pecans to juicy oranges and buttery avocados. To make the most of the presentation, use a combination of red and yellow beets. You can prepare the beets and dressing in advance, then just assemble the salad before serving. 
6 large red or yellow beets (about 4 1/2 pounds)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind

  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice

  • 3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil

  • 2 1/4 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large avocado, peeled

  • bunches watercress (about 9 cups trimmed)

  • 3 cups orange sections (about 3 large navel oranges)

  • 3/4 cup vertically sliced red onion

  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

  • Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 375°.
    2. Remove root and 1 inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Cut beets in half; place beets in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add water. Cover with foil, and bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool; rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/2-inch slices.
    3. Combine rind and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Toss half of juice mixture with beets.
    4. Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 12 slices. Place watercress on a platter; top with beets, orange sections, onion, and avocado. Drizzle remaining juice mixture over salad, and top with pecans. Serve immediately

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