Seeing Red With Beets & Blood Oranges

Craving a pseudo-summer treat? Meet this salad. Part summer, part winter, all tasty. As any salad will tell you, delicious can be make-it or break-it with the right or wrong dressing. In lieu of a classic dressing I used the simple juice of a blood orange.Blood oranges are the most bad-ass of all citrus. Beyond the vampiric-sounding name, they often pack more mouth-puckering tart to rival any lemon. Also, if you fancy Dexter, the cable serial-killer and my friend Becky’s TV husband, then you already know that the blood orange is featured in prominent glory in the opening sequence (again, due to its bad-ass citrus nature). Blood orange season begins in November (hooray California!) and extends all the way to May, so it’s a darkly, uh, cold-blooded? growing season.

 Chicken & Roasted Beet Salad
–1 boneless skinless chicken breast
–1 tbsp Italian dressing
–fresh cracked black pepper
–2 beets, scrubbed with top and bottom cut off
–1 cup salad greens/lettuce/spinach
–1 blood orange, sliced in half

In a plastic zip-top bag, toss the chicken breast in the dressing and pepper, until it is evenly coated. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil so that each beet is fully covered and looks like a little tin-foil ball.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty cookie sheet on the bottom rack. Place the upper shelf in one of the “middle” positions in the oven. Place the chicken directly onto the top rack, centering it over the cookie sheet (to catch any drips). Place the beets also directly onto the upper rack, again over the cookie sheet to catch drips. Leave enough space around the chicken so that you don’t get salmonella on your beet balls.*

“Grill” the chicken for ten minutes before turning it. Turn the beets at the same time and cook another ten minutes. Remove all from the oven. Chop up the chicken and slice the beets (careful not to scald yourself!). Serve over the salad. Take the blood orange halves and squeeze one half onto each salad. Serve!

Dammit Jim, I’m not a doctor…
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 salads
Calories: 258 per salad

*Heh, I said balls.

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