The beauty of simplicity lies in the fact that by stripping away what is unnecessary, everything that remains is intentional. Coming out of the decadence of the holiday season, a time for revelry and indulgence, I find myself craving the simple, the unadulterated, the pure. The winter solstice has passed, which means we are slowly moving toward spring, toward longer days and bountiful harvest; until then, we rest in the slower, simpler rhythms of a new year’s early days and what winter has to offer: perseverant root vegetables, bright citrus, hardy greens, and a desire to nourish our bodies and souls after the hustle and bustle of the end of the calendar year.
The Japanese concept of wabi sabi encourages and honors raw, natural beauty, which is a far cry from the curated and postcard-perfect scenes of the holiday season. Entering into a new year and thinking about this concept, the freedom to be imperfect, I feel invigorated. I look to our garden and see gnarled, unassuming beetroot emerging from the soil, resilient despite the sub-freezing temperatures they have encountered. My favorite varieties of citrus are suddenly available at the grocery store, ready to provide me with the vitamin D that I so desperately need when sunlight is fleeting. I celebrate the simplicity of these ingredients by treating them with gentleness and letting them mingle to create an explosion of flavor that embodies winter—the unearthing of what’s hidden beneath the surface and the promise of what has yet to emerge.
Roasted beetroot + orange salad
by Logan Kimsey for Haand
- 1 large or 2 small red beetroot
- 2-3 oranges, variety encouraged but not essential
- 2 Tbsp minced red onion or shallot
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- 1.5 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Pinch of zest from one orange
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
- 2 oz goat cheese (optional)
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Wrap whole beetroot in aluminum foil and roast for 35-45 minutes until tender. Let cool, then trim off the top and bottom and use the blunt side of a knife to gently peel away the skin. Slice into horizontal rounds and set aside to cool.
- In a sauté pan, gently toast fennel seeds for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, removing from heat when turning slightly golden and smelling fragrant
- Combine 2 teaspoons of the fennel seeds with the garlic clove, mustard, honey, salt, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of olive oil, and use a mortar and pestle or blender to emulsify. Slowly drizzle in vinegar, mixing until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in minced red onion or shallot by hand.
- Peel oranges and slice into rounds, wedges, or supremes.
- Combine beetroot rounds and citrus segments on a plate or in a bowl, then drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a generous spoonful or two of vinaigrette. Add goat cheese, if desired, and finish with the remaining teaspoon of toasted fennel seeds, flaky sea salt, and black pepper.
The beetroot can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days, and the vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.