Tangerine and Beet Salad

Tangerine and Beet Salad

In the wintertime, I look forward to the arrival of bright, fresh tangerines because they pair so well with these sweet, roasted baby beets. It’s a simple, elegant flavor combination.–Andrew Swallow

LC Win Friends and Influence People Note

Simple, spare, and stunning. That’s this tangerine and beet salad recipe. Although because the sum is greater than the parts, people tend to initially sort of look at you askance. But then after tasting it, they come to appreciate what genius this combination of tastes and textures truly is. (Our unsolicited advice? Just smile and say thank you.)

Tangerine and Beet Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
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Preheat the oven to 350° F (176°C).

Roast the beets on a baking sheet in the oven until tender. If using baby beets, this should take 20 to 30 minutes (or longer, if the beets aren’t fresh); if using regular-size beets, this could take up to an hour. Place the roasted beets on a towel and gently rub to remove their skins. Let cool to room temperature. Toast the pine nuts on a second baking sheet for 8 minutes and transfer to a plate to cool.

After the beets have cooled, slice off the top and bottom of each beet. If using baby beets, cut each in half. If using regular-size beets, cut into small wedges. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice each tangerine into thick rounds, then slice each round in half crosswise to form a sort of tangerine half moon.

Arrange 5 beet pieces and 5 tangerine slices on each plate. Drizzle each with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil on top and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon shallot, 1 teaspoon of the toasted pine nuts, and 1/2 teaspoon basil. Season with salt and pepper.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

What a pretty dish! The sweet tangerine paired perfectly with the golden beets, while the basil chiffonade added color contrast. This was easy to make—a perfect winter side dish.

This was a fast and easy side dish with gorgeous colors and bright flavors. I used baby beets from a local market, and the cooking time was around 10 to 15 minutes for me because I like my beets just barely cooked through. Next time, I’d drizzle the beets with olive oil before roasting, as I think the dry roasting dried them out somewhat—although mine cooked so quickly that it wasn’t too noticeable. Everything else was perfect. I might also try some fresh chevre in the salad next time—it would shine in this recipe with the pine nuts, basil, and tangerines.


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  1. I used this beautiful recipe for inspiration. Outside we are encased in ICE so I am going to use what I have without going to the store which is as follows:

    well drained pickled beets (my own)
    roasted and salted pepitas
    fresh ground black pepper
    Meyer lemon juice and olive oil
    thinly sliced green onion using white and green parts

    I think it will be a close second to the original.

    1. That sounds like a colourful combination, Penny. The clementines being mainly seedless will save you some work. Let us know about your results!

      1. Not bad at all and you are correct it is a very colorful salad. The beets were a tiny bit strong in flavor over the clementines. The addition of a drizzle of honey helped balance the salad. I like the red beets over the golden regardless.

        1. Thanks, Penny, that’s a lovely solution. I find that golden beets vary dramatically in sweetness depending on how old they are—meaning not just whether they’re baby or quite big, but how long they’ve been languishing at the grocery store. Hopefully next time you’ll have a sweeter bunch. And you could of course do this with red beets, although they tend to have a slightly earthier cast and will dribble some of their vibrant hue over the plate…

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