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Roasted Beet, Avocado, and Watercress Salad

Yield 12 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup watercress, 1/3 cup beets, 1/4 cup orange sections, 2 slices avocado, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 tablespoon dressing)
This dish features holiday colors and a variety of textures, from crisp watercress and crunchy pecans to juicy oranges and buttery avocados. To make the most of the presentation, use a combination of red and yellow beets. You can prepare the beets and dressing in advance, then just assemble the salad before serving.

Ingredients

  • 6 large red or yellow beets (about 4 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large avocado, peeled
  • 3 bunches watercress (about 9 cups trimmed)
  • 3 cups orange sections (about 3 large navel oranges)
  • 3/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 168
  • caloriesfromfat 41 %
  • fat 7.7 g
  • satfat 1.1 g
  • monofat 5.1 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 4 g
  • carbohydrate 24 g
  • fiber 5.2 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 1.6 mg
  • sodium 232 mg
  • calcium 66 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Remove root and 1 inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Cut beets in half; place beets in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add water. Cover with foil, and bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool; rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/2-inch slices.

  3. Combine rind and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Toss half of juice mixture with beets.

  4. Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 12 slices. Place watercress on a platter; top with beets, orange sections, onion, and avocado. Drizzle remaining juice mixture over salad, and top with pecans. Serve immediately.