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Thinly Sliced Beets with Blood Oranges and Watercress

Mildly sweet and tangy, blood oranges rest on a vibrant bed of paper-thin beets.

  • Servings: 4
beet and blood orange salad

Photography: Reed Davis

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2002


  • 5 medium beets (about 3/4 pound), stems trimmed, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches of coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh watercress


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets in a baking pan; drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Pour the water into pan, and cover tightly with foil. Cook until beets are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 45 minutes.

  2. Remove baking pan from oven; take off foil, and let cool completely. Peel beets, and slice into thin rounds using a mandoline or sharp knife. Divide beets among four salad plates, arranging the slices in a circular pattern.

  3. Peel blood oranges: Using a sharp paring knife, slice off both ends. Carefully slice downward, following the curve of the fruit to remove rind and pith. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut between membranes to remove whole segments, reserving juices.

  4. Make the dressing: Measure out 2 tablespoons blood-orange juice, and pour into a small bowl. Add shallot, vinegar, pepper, and remaining pinch of salt. Whisk in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.

  5. Divide watercress and blood-orange segments among plates of beets, mounding them in the center. Drizzle all with dressing, and serve immediately.

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