There are a few ingredients that I try to sneak them into almost every dish, hoping no one will notice. Beets are one of those. So I am surprised it has taken me this long to make a salsa using them. That said, this Roasted Beet & Orange Salsa was worth the wait!
½ pound red beets 1 pound tangerines ⅓ cup chopped red onion 1 jalapeño pepper, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon honey Sea salt
1 hour, 30 minutes
Begin by roasting a 1/2 pound of beets. Simply trim off the greens, peel them, wrap 'em in foil, and bake them for an hour or so at 375 degrees F, until they are easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
NOTE: NOTE: Don't toss those greens! They are not only delicious but at one time, they were the preferred portion of the plant. Just cook them up as you would spinach or Swiss chard. I saute them with garlic and olive oil.
Cut them up using a small dice. This is a quarter-inch cut. Then add the beets to a large mixing bowl.
Peel a pound of tangerines, removing as much excess pith as you can. Split the oranges into two halves and then cut each half in half by slicing them width-wise. Then break apart the wedges where they naturally separate, adding them to the same mixing bowl as the beets.
Now add in the 1/3 cup of chopped red onion, a minced jalapeno pepper, 2 minced cloves of garlic, and 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Add 1/2 teaspoon of red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey.
NOTE: FACT: Want to know why onions make you cry? When in the soil, onions absorb sulfur from the earth, which they convert into an amino acid known as sulfoxides. These sulfoxides are highly volatile. Like, Kanye West at an award show. When you chop an onion, it release a lachrymatory-factor synthase enzyme, that when combined with sulfoxides, creates a sulfenic acid. The acid transform into a compound that no one can pronounce: syn-propanethial-S-oxide. And when this compound interacts with your eye, you cry.
Mix everything together and let sit for a minute before salting.
Salt to taste and then transfer the salsa to a serving dish. And by serving dish, I mean any bowl you can face plant in because this salsa is amazing. Honestly, you don't even need chips. They'll just take up unnecessary room in your mouth where salsa should be.
NOTE: FACT: Did you know that beets were considered an aphrodisiac by the ancient Romans? And they were on to something. Because of their nitrates, these tasty little gems can increase blood flow...all the way down there. Also, they contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to human sex hormone production. Sounds like the only thing this salsa recipe is missing is some Barry White.
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Jerry James Stone
Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say 'hella' too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.