Blood Orange and Beet Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Serves 6

6 medium golden or red beets

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3 or 4 cloves unpeeled garlic

6 blood oranges

1/3 cup lightly roasted hazelnuts

several handfuls baby arugula

1 small shallot

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ cup hazelnut or olive oil

salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Trim leafy tops from the beets if present and save for cooking greens. Place beets in a baking dish and add the 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme sprigs, garlic and 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover the dish with foil and bake until beets can be easily pierced with a sharp knife, 30 minutes to an hour depending on size. Uncover and cool. Cut off the tops and roots and slip off the skins. Beets may be refrigerated for a day or two before finishing the salad.

Grate the zest from one of the oranges and set aside. Cut peel and outside membrane from the oranges with a small, sharp knife and slice oranges into 1/4-inch pinwheels. Chop hazelnuts. Wash and dry arugula. Cut beets into 1/8-inch slices.

Peel and mince or thinly slice the shallot. Place in a small bowl with the grated orange zest, balsamic and white wine vinegar. Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper.

Toss arugula with a tablespoon or two of the vinaigrette and arrange onto 6 plates. Arrange orange slices on arugula. Toss beet slices in the remaining vinaigrette and arrange over the oranges. Drizzle salads with any vinaigrette left in the beet bowl. Sprinkle salads with chopped hazelnuts and fresh black pepper. Serves 6.