Simple. Fresh. Astoundingly delicious. This Beet Salad – a brilliant composition of flavors from the late, great, Anthony Bourdain – try it once and it will become a staple on your table!
Sometimes the simplest things are the best, aren’t they? This is a lesson taught to us over the years in so many ways. The late, great, Anthony Bourdain was a Master of showing us all how often the most simple is the most sublime. I’ve been fan of his show Parts Unknown since the beginning. And I’ve always been amazed at his ability to interact so beautifully with people who he’d never before met, in remote villages of the world many of us will never go, speaking through interpreters about customs we might find as strange as they would find ours. I’ve admired his perspectives on the human condition, his respect for all those with whom he came across, his intelligence and his wanderlust. Because he was not an extravagant person, he spoke language we could all understand, dressed simply, travelled as locals travel. But mostly it was his ability to make us feel an unfamiliar culture, his deference for the importance of its customs and its special occasions, often through a meal or two. And, this Simple Beet Salad, from his cookbook Appetites, is much like he was in these shows. Straighforward. Well composed. Pointed. Curious. Informative. Balanced.
You may say, “Hmmmm. I’ve never had a CURIOUS or INFORMATIVE salad before.” But I need to let you know, to me, it was curious that the elements of this Beet Salad – beets, oranges, onion, and mint – when eaten all together, produce a flavor so pleasant, so delicious, that I tried in each subsequent bite to get a piece of each ingredient on my fork. So good. And, it was informative, how these things I myself wouldn’t think of pairing are perfect together. How much flavor from such few and simple ingredients and easy prep – something you don’t expect. Just like Mr. Bourdain’s show. With each episode, I learn to be more curious.
So tell me, are you a fan of Parts Unknown? What is you favorite episode? For me, it’s tough to choose, because they are all so different. But I recently watched “Singapore” which I found positively fascinating. I learned so much about this City-country so small that is really just a big, shiny, gorgeous city – one that looks so similar yet is so different from our own big cities. His interviews with some local young professional people made my jaw drop. Sorry I can’t say more, but if you watch it, let me know what you think! It left me with the same feelings I have about this salad – the curiosity of learning, the joy of seeing things in a way you haven’t before. He taught us in ways we wished we learned in school. So, with great respect and admiration for its creator and a man who was a wonderful teacher about the world, its inhabitants and its food, Enjoy!
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Anthony Bourdain Beet Salad
Adapted from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites Cookbook, this Beet Salad is a symphony of simple flavors: roasted beets, juicy oranges, red onions, and mint. So easy to compose. Dressed so simply with olive oil and cider vinegar, you will turn to it again and again.
You can sometimes buy your beets already roasted, or rub a little olive oil on them, wrap them (tightly) in foil and roast for 45 minutes, until fork-tender.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 45 mins + cooling time
- Total Time: 55 min plus cooling
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 lb (6-8) baby beets, any color
- 1 large, or 2 medium, navel oranges
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 T Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, separated (can substitute your oil of choice)
- Handful (12-15 leaves) fresh mint, chopped
- 2 t Cider Vinegar
- Pinch of salt and Ground Black Pepper
- Rub each beet with a small amount of olive oil, then wrap each tightly in aluminum foil. Place foil-wrapped beets on a sheet pan (you don’t want them to leak in your oven).
- Roast in 450F oven for 40-45 minutes, until fork-tender.
- Cool completely. Peel and slice into 1/4” thick slices or half-slices.
- Peel and pith orange. Slice into 1/4” thick wheels and cut wheels into bite-sized pieces.
- Slice onion thinly, then cut into small pieces.
- Arrange sliced beets, oranges, onions. Mix together the remaining 1 T olive oil and the vinegar. Pour over salad. Salt and pepper salad. Garnish with torn mint leaves.
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Keywords: Beet, Salad, Anthony Bourdain, oranges, easy
Caroline Westlake says
This is so colourful and how delicious to have beetroot and orange together, I have to try that!
Thanks so much, Caroline! Hope you love it as much as I do! And thank you for visiting!
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
this sounds so tasty- crunchy, sweet, fresh, spicy, minty. mmmm. and it sounds like the kind of thing that would keep me full throughout the rest of hte afternoon too (:
Thanks, Heather! It is indeed all of those things! It’s one of my new favorites, for sure! Thank you for visiting!
chef mimi says
Beautiful. It still pains me to see his name, i think the whole world has grieved his death. I have both his cookbooks. Les Halles was spectacular. Appetites was hysterical. He definitely knew food. What I always loved on his Asia shows was video of him walking the busy streets, with his head towering over every one elses!!
Thank you! I love those shots, too! I really just drink up all of the episodes now, really kind of hanging on every word. It pains me, too. He was quite special in so many ways. He was a fantastic teacher and communicator, wasn’t he? Like you, I love his wit. He is sorely missed, but I’m glad I can re-watch all of his Parts Unknown, and see his works in cookbook form. Thanks for your visit.
David @ Spiced says
So like Christina said, I’ve never been a huge beet person. Laura loves ’em, and I’ve tried them on occasion, but they just taste like dirt to me. I blame my defective tastebuds on this one! But with that said, I’m willing to give them a shot in this salad as it sounds like the ingredients all come together to be greater than their individual parts. I’m intrigued! Also, this post makes me realize I need to watch more episodes of Parts Unknown. Thanks, Laura!
Hi, David! You know I used to absolutely despise beets. Truly, right there on my list next to liver (still there) and spinach (which I now love). Roasting them totally changed the flavor for me. Hope you get the chance to make this salad and hopefully you find it as mesmerizing as I do. And you can get that defective tastebud fixed (Ha!). Thanks for visiting!
Hey! So sorry I haven’t been to your site in awhile. I’ve been fighting (and winning) a battle with my city to make my neighborhood safer. Long story.
Man, I keep avoiding beets bc they tend to taste too earthy to me but you make them look so freaking good!
True confession time – I know who Anthony Bourdain is, but I’ve never seen his shows. I’ll need to get with the program because my friends/family and awesome bloggers like you keep recommending him.
Christina! Hope everything ok in your neighborhood! I think many of us can relate, unfortunately. Hope you get the chance to see an episode or two of Parts Unknown. As for beets, it was roasting them that changed the game for me. And when you combine them with oranges, magic happens! Thanks for visiting, and take care out there!
Greedyeats -Neha says
What a brilliant salad recipe this is Laura! Loving the combination of beets and oranges together!
Thanks, Neha! I agree, beets + oranges is a winning combination! Thanks for visiting!
Ashika | Gardening Foodie says
This is such a beautiful salad Laura, so full of beautiful colour and amazing flavour. This salad will definitely make an regular appearance on my table too. Thank you for sharing, I hope that you are having a great weekend 🙂
Thanks, Ashika! Hope you love it as much as we do! And thanks for visiting!
Admired his ways very much …. Thank you Laura !
Every time I watch his shows, I appreciate his abilities and talents. Thanks for visiting!
Dynamite post! Informative and fascinating. I look forward to making this salad.
Thanks, Debbie! Hope you find this salad as fabulous as I did! And hope you get the chance to go to “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain. Thanks for visiting!