Blood Orange Roasted Beets & Fennel

with balsamic vinegar

With the weather having been a bit warmer last week, I woke up on Friday with what I was hoping were just allergies. Of course, telling myself over and over again that ~it’s just allergies~ isn’t going to change the fact that I do not, in fact, have allergies, and instead have developed a lovely little sinus infection that has been following me around all weekend. I am furious. I hate being sick, but colds and the like are certainly the worst kind of short term ailment. I’d rather have the flu, because at least then you’re in and out in under two days, maybe even a few pounds lighter. Bonus! When I have a cold, on the other hand, you can typically find me on the couch, whining to Kramer about how I’m dying or to please help me or just blowing my nose in between bites of whatever delicious snack food I decided to gorge on because, as many of us have uttered aloud before, “I’m sick and I don’t care.” I guess that’s another kind of bonus. Although I suppose when you have a cold you’re not enjoying the food as much as you are attempting to enjoy it, to bring some kind of happiness to your miserable, stuffed up existence. Having been stuck at home most of the time this weekend, though, I did manage to be somewhat productive in between bouts of sneezing and general agony. I got a lot of work done on a freelance project that isn’t due for another month, and Kramer and I finished season two of House of Cards. I also probably saved a little money from not being out all night on Friday and Saturday, so I guess there’s that, too. But now it’s Monday and it’s time to get my ass in gear, when all I really want to do is lay down on the couch with a big mug of tea, plenty of my favorite cold medications and the remaining half of Bates Motel that I want to finish before the new season starts. At least I can look forward to this routine after work.

Blood Orange Roasted Beets & FennelBloody beet hands, awesome lengua tacos at Zaragoza, poker at home and a foggy view at the office.

Before I gave into my “definitely not a cold” sinus infection, Kramer and I did go out just a bit this weekend, albeit only for a few hours at a time. I met up with my friends Emily and Molly at Ore Bar on Friday night, before calling it early around 8:30, then heading home to meet Kramer while we ate tacos, chips and guacamole and watched the previously mentioned house of Cards. On Saturday, I did a lot of work on my project, squeezed in a little yoga in an attempt to clear my sinuses through sweating (guess what – it didn’t work), then made burgers for dinner before we headed out into Manhattan for a friend’s birthday party. This alone should show that I am a phenomenal friend because I rarely trudge into the city on the weekends. Brooklyn is already crowded enough – Manhattan past 8pm on a weekend is a complete disaster of a situation and I want no part of it. But, we did it anyway, and showed up at Houston Hall at 9pm sharp (early for the party, of course). After about an hour there, as much as I enjoy the company of my friend, we had to go because it was absolutely packed and I felt like I was going to either have a panic attack or shove one of the many dude-bros into a wall. We got back to our neighborhood, had a beer with a friend, then played a game of poker at our house before shoving off to bed. I almost won, by the way. You’re looking at a poker champion. Sunday, we slept in and I began the start of what I like to call Sydney Being as Annoying as Possible. This involves looking at Kramer with sad eyes, ordering in breakfast and whining constantly about being sick. Kramer pretends he hates it but I think that a little part of him thinks it’s impressive how long I am able to keep it up. I’m really good at that game. I feel equally crappy this morning, by the way, but I made myself eggs and mushrooms for breakfast, so I’m hoping that this fuel will power me through work and straight back onto the couch for round two of Sydney Being as Annoying as Possible.

Blood Orange Roasted Beets & Fennel

One of our other favorite shows, Hannibal, starts up later this week, and these beets really remind me of it. I adore blood oranges and this is the time to year to get them, so I’ve been buying at least five or six a week to consume. I love the color and the sweet meets tart taste, plus the juice and zest are lovely to cook with. I used both on these beets, which paired with fennel and balsamic vinegar, made for a delicious side dish along with some roasted chicken. While we ate this warm the first night, I saved the leftovers and sent it to work for lunch for the two of us as a cold salad. I preferred the cold version myself, as I think the flavors meld together overnight, creating a punch of flavor with each bite. If you can’t find blood oranges, then regular oranges or even tangerines will do just fine, but I really recommend seeking them out. They have a depth of flavor, not to mention a beautiful color, that you can’t get with your average naval variety. The fennel adds a nice bite, and the balsamic brings it all home. Root vegetable season is almost over, sadly, but this play on summery citrus notes with earthy, rustic beets is a great way to bring winter and spring together on one plate.

Blood Orange Roasted Beets & FennelRoast the beets until tender, then roast again with your blood orange mixture and thinly sliced fennel.

Blood Orange Roasted Beets & FennelServe warm, right out of the oven, or allow to cool and serve as a room temperature or chilled salad.

Blood Orange Roasted Beets & Fennel

Blood Orange Roasted Beets & Fennel
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 as a side
Roasted beets and fennel with balsamic vinegar, honey and blood oranges.
  • 4-5 large beets, trimmed and scrubbed clean
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • juice and zest of 1 blood orange
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. After cleaning your beets, place each one in a small foil packet and rub with the olive oil. Close up the packets and roast the beets for 40-45 minutes, until fork tender. Open up the packets a bit so they come to room temperature, then once they are cool enough to handle, rub the beets with a paper towel or just your hands to remove the skins. You'll probably get beet stained hands from doing this (although a reader mentioned that rubbing your hands with olive oil prior to handling the beets can help), but I suggest embracing your new blood colored hands. It's fun! Just don't accidentally wipe your hand on your pants.
  2. Once the skins have been removed, cube the beets into bite-sized pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the blood orange juice, zest, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and chipotle powder. Place the cubed beets and sliced fennel on a rimmed baking sheet, then toss with the balsamic mixture. Place the tray back into the oven and roast for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the fennel is tender. Garnish with a little sea salt and/or red pepper flakes and serve hot or cool and serve as a cold or room temperature salad.


7 Responses

  1. This looks fantastic! And I am definitely a complainer when I have a cold – colds are the absolute worst. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Mindy says:

    Yum, yum, and yum. I roasted Brussels sprouts with blood oranges a couple weeks ago. Delish. I’m all over this one. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Beryl Harrington says:

    I love your web page and read all your excursions (or cuddling up witha cold). I am going to do this side this weekend for friends coming to supper.

  4. Uuughhh colds are the worst. This looks pretty rad, so much colour! I hope you feel better soon. I suggest some nice hot broth, or I have a ginger tea recipe on my blog too. Great for clearing your sinuses.

  5. Trisha says:

    beetroot is always a good idea. haha love the photo of your hand stained from it… always happens to me too x

  6. Nursy says:

    Hey Sydney, Just for clarification, the two day illness you refer to must be a stomach virus. The flu, on the other hand, is much much worse than a cold or sinus infection. Think cold on steroids. You will be ill for 7-10 days, high fever bed bound kind of ill, and may not feel quite right for several weeks after. People die from the flu. It’s a serious illness. Always get your flu shot, folks.

  7. […] and bitter flavor is something I can’t get enough of (see: there will be blood (oranges), blood orange roasted beets and this blood orange quick bread). Blood oranges, of course, go best in a cocktail. If you prefer […]

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