‘Twas the night before finals… and visions of multinational enterprises, supply and demand, and the importance of corporate social responsibility (ugh) were competing with visions of actual sugar plums. You can’t imagine how hard it is to focus on something as dull as financial accounting when all that is on your mind is what kinds of cookies you could be baking at the moment. Seriously, can’t they schedule finals at a time when my head isn’t full of pumpkin and gingerbread? Better yet, not when three-fourths of the population is fighting a cold. Is that really too much to ask?
Finals week may be the death of me, but I will go happily, knowing that this salad of all things is one of the best things I have eaten in quite some time. Warm roasted beets, arugula, and blood orange segments are tossed with a sweet apple cider vinaigrette. Oh, and I toss in some bacon for good measure. Brain food, baby!
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds red or golden beets, peeled
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 3 cups baby arugula leaves
- 4 blood oranges, peeled and segmented
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, and thyme in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the beets on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the foil around the beets to seal. Roast for about 1 hour, until the beets are fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the beets into ½-inch pieces and transfer to a small bowl. Toss the beets with half of the vinaigrette and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 6 minutes, until golden and crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels.
- Toss the arugula with the marinated beets, bacon, orange segments, and red onion in a large serving bowl. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top and toss to coat.