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Beet and Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese

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Contributed by Samantha Cabaluna of Earthbound Farm

The vibrant colors and sweet flavors of the beets and oranges in this salad contrast deliciously with the smooth white feta and crunchy nuts. Blood oranges are spectacular, but if they are not available, do not hesitate to make this delicious salad with any oranges you like. You can easily substitute mixed baby greens, mache or frisee for the arugula.

Serves 4 as a side salad


1 pound cooked beets (roasted, steamed, or boiled)
About 1/3 cup Orange Walnut Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
5 ounces baby arugula (about 6 cups)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup candied or toasted walnuts
Orange segments from 2 oranges (blood oranges, if available), optional

Cut the beets in half or quarters so they are bite-size. Place the beets in a small bowl, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss until the beets are coated. (This step can be done a day in advance, if desired.)
Just before serving, place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Add about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss to coat the leaves lightly and taste them to see if more vinaigrette is needed.
Transfer the arugula to a platter or individual salad plates. Arrange the beets and orange segments (if desired) on the greens and sprinkle them with the feta and nuts. Serve immediately.

Orange Walnut Vinaigrette
The walnuts and oranges in the Beet and Arugula Salad harmonize beautifully with the walnut oil and citrus in this dressing. Together, the flavors simply sing!

Makes 1 1/4 cups

1/2 cup good-quality roasted walnut oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice or blood orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place all the ingredients in a glass jar and close the lid tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Allow the dressing to sit at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop before serving. Store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 1 month.