Musical pairing – Beat It by Cris Delanno

An Ode to Color – My favorite thing about beets is their color. Just sliced into, they reveal shocking jewel-bright shades of burgundy and topaz and saffron. Juiced, and they will turn a whole smoothie creamy pink. And roasted–wrapped in foil and slowly, intensely roasted– they simply can’t seem to restrain their bloody, passionate vibrancy. Juices start to leak through the seams in the foil, beads of dark ruby that collect on the roasting pan and shimmer and simmer there.

Beets may have an earthy flavor. They may be ugly ducklings, with dirty outer peels. They may be simultaneously humble and frustrating– what exactly do you do with a beet (other than make borscht…)? I think the answer to this lies in summer itself. Summer with its own triumphant color, its own parade of hues, its own revelry in brightly-tinted beauty. For there is no better time than on a hot summer day to get well-acquainted with beets at last, and transform this confounding, scrappy root into a cooling salad, and one that mirrors summer’s brilliancy to boot.

Not only does this salad from Vegetarian Times’ Farmers’ Market Cookbook include beautiful, well-roasted beets in their almost purple radiance, it also includes cheery, refreshing oranges–as well as a little olive oil, lemon juice, and all such things that just never go amiss in a summer salad. So get out your old cutting board, put on your thickest apron, and bring some more color into your life in honor of summer, in honor of color itself, or just in honor of plain old beets.


Avery Olund-Smith is going into her sophomore year at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where’s she’s studying English. She’s from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts. She loves biking to Findlay Market and writing with the Cincinnati organization Women Writing for (a) Change, and considers food, writing, reading, and the beauties of both the city and the natural world amongst her passions.


  1. I’m with everyone else. I love beets, and now I’m so excited to add orange slices to them!

  2. We love beets! I had never thought to pair them with orange slices, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Love, love, love roasting beets but this is a totally fresh new way to eat them. I’m trying this sometime soon. Thanks!

  4. Love the addition of orange slices to beets, they balance and enhance the flavor so beautifully!

  5. I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog!! Following you on twitter now. This healthy and colourful dish is awesome. Loved your blog and your photography!! Do visit mine if you love Asian (especially Indian) food. Shall come back again very soon!

  6. I am so lucky that we buy already-roasted beets at the markets so we just come home, slice them and eat them. I think beets and oranges are a perfect combination and I agree that the colors are gorgeous. Great recipe for all year round.

  7. I LOVE the colors and flavors here! I may actually try it with some grapefruit too. The tartness might make for a nice contrast.

  8. Super combo! I’m a beet lover too. Roasting them gives them great flavor and is so much simpler than stove-top, the way my mother always made them.

  9. I was wondering what to do with the beets I just got from my CSA, and then I saw this! Perfect timing, thank you!

  10. The color of beets is beyond amazing! Love ’em with the orange slices too 🙂

  11. I have managed to convert my beet-hating Husband with roasted beets – so many people imagine tasteless, mealy purple rounds coming from a can, and won’t give the real thing a chance.
    Yes, they are earthy, sweet, beautiful, and pretty – and work wonders in a borsch, too:)
    Another great post, Avery!

  12. Maybe this will be the recipe to get me into beets! Thank you for sharing this recipe…I’m usually not drawn to beets but the citrus flavors are tempting me. I am going to have to give this a try. There are so many beets at the market right now. Hugs from Austin!

  13. I love, love, love beets. The canned ones almost scarred me as a child. But once I began roasting them? There was no turning back. Hooked. Add goat cheese and I am in heaven. 🙂 Will try this recipe soon! 🙂

  14. Beautifully written Avery – I love roasted beets, and paired with oranges, this sounds sublime!

  15. Love beets of every color and shape. They got a sweet underlying hint and this vinaigrette combined with the orange acidity sounds so fresh!!

  16. beets usual don’t gel with me 😉 but i’m going to try this recipe. looks gorgeous ! i love the music pairing 🙂

  17. You can’t argue with perfection. Especially when it is this simple. GREG

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