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Roasted Golden Beets with Blood Orange and Tarragon

Golden beets are more mellow and less earthy than their red counterparts. Somewhat easier to roast and prepare, they make a great addition to a fall salad because of their beautiful golden color which persists after cooking. In this salad, which can be made ahead and served at room temperature, the raspberry-like citrus notes of the blood oranges is both a nice taste and visual companion. Tarragon puts it over the top.

Blood oranges owe their color to anthocyanin which is very similar to the polyphenol pigments found in red wine. I spritz this salad with white wine vinegar after it is combined to add some acidity and to brighten up the bold flavors of the oranges and beets.

4 medium golden beets

4 blood oranges, peeled with a paring knife and sliced, juice reserved

2 tbs neutral oil like canola

sprigs of tarragon

salt and pepper, to taste

spritz of white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and trim the green stems off the beets along with the root. Oil the exterior of the beets with the canola oil and place on a foil lined panned. Bake for about one hour and check to see if they can be easily pierced with a paring knife. Beets cook at their own pace so it could be that you need to continue them in the oven for another 15 to 30 minutes depending on their size.

Once the beets are tender, remove them and let them cool briefly. When cool enough to handle but still warm, peel the exterior skin off and trim any dark spots with a knife. Cut them into serving pieces and place them in the bowl with the blood orange slices.

Whisk the remaining canola oil with the blood orange juice and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spritz surface with white wine vinegar to taste. Garnish with tarragon leaves and serve.

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Dan McCoy