BEET AND ORANGE SALAD (for twelve)
8 pounds beets, trimmed, leaving 3 inches of the stems intact and reserving the leaves for another use
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup sugar
½ cup distilled vinegar
1 small bay leaf
½ cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
- In a kettle combine the beets with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the beets, removing the small ones as they are done, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the bets and let them cool. (The beets may be cooked 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.) Peel the beets and cut them into 1 inch wedges.
- In a small saucepan combine the zest, the orange juice, the sugar, the vinegar and the bay leaf and boil the mixture until it is reduced to about ¼ cup. Discard the bay leaf and let the mixture cool. In a large bowl whisk together the orange mixture, the oil and salt and pepper to taste until the dressing is emulsifed, add the beets and the onion, and combine the salad well.