This simple salad may only have a few ingredients, but it has an absolute abundance of flavor. Tender roasted beets marry perfectly with juicy slices of orange, and black currant glaze adds an extraordinary depth of flavor. Using the best oranges possible is critical for this salad. At Picnic LA, we use a variety of seasonal oranges from many local farms. Pick oranges that are firm without any soft spots, and that smell sweet. Currant juice can be found in many supermarkets and health stores. Fried garlic and star anise are easy to find in a local Asian market. — PICNIC LA Executive Chef, Alex Resnick
- 4 medium red beets
- 2 oranges (navel, blood, or cara cara)
- 1 Cup black/red currant juice
- 5 pieces star anise
- 1 bunch of mint
- 1/2 Tablespoon fried garlic
- 1 to 2 Pinch of sea salt (Maldon Sea Salt is preferable)
Wash the beets and place into a deep cooking vessel. Fill with water until the beets are 1/4th of the way covered, then tightly cover the vessel with aluminum foil. Roast in a 350-degree F oven for around an hour until the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Peel the beets once they are cool, and slice them into 1/4-inch rounds.
Place the currant juice and star anise in a sauce pan, and reduce to about half, until it becomes a rich syrup. Add a little salt to enhance the flavor, and allow the glaze to cool.
Peel the oranges and slice into 1/4-inch slices (or a matching thickness to your beets).
Shingle the oranges and beets in alternating rows. Generously drizzle the glaze over the beets, then sprinkle the beets and oranges with an even layer of fried garlic (do not be heavy-handed, fried garlic is very potent). Finally, garnish with freshly picked mint leaves. I find that the more mint the better.