Orange Zest Gives Balsamic-Glazed Beets A Bright Burst Of Taste

When the desire to transform a dish to make it more captivating strikes, it's important to remember that the small details often make all the difference. Take balsamic-glazed beets, for example. This already great dish can be made extraordinary with a few sprinkles of orange zest. Although you may feel it seems strange at first, this flavor combo is incredibly harmonious. Requiring nothing more than an orange peel and a grater, this recipe is an effortless go-to whenever you feel like jazzing up a plate of roasted beets while still playing it safe.

Small but mighty, little pieces of orange zest bring a citrus zing that pierces right through the balsamic's deep sweetness and the beets' earthy tang. As the zest is finely grated, its natural oils infuse the dish with a mesmerizing, vibrant aroma. With a little bit of everything on the flavor spectrum, this combination carries a complexity that entrances your sense of taste and smell. Each bite is a sensory delight that keeps you coming back for more, which, admittedly, is not always the case for beet dishes. 

That's not all. The bright orange flecks also create a striking visual contrast against the ruby-red backdrop, unintentionally giving the dish an exquisite jewel tone. On the dining table, even as a side, this stand-out dish brings a subtle elegance to the whole meal.

What else can you make with oranges and beets?

Beets and oranges work well in a wide variety of dishes. As the centerpiece of a fresh, simple salad, they're a match made in heaven. You can keep it simple with only these two ingredients or mix them with leafy greens and feta cheese for a more diverse flavor profile. Drizzle in an orange juice-based dressing, and there you have it — a vibrant, colorful salad that is refreshingly different from regular greens. This duo also works great when combined with goat cheese and baked into a tart, especially if you want something that delivers gorgeous looks and impeccable taste.

For those who may prefer these ingredients when blended, there is still a long list of dishes to make. For example, beet hummus laced with orange juice makes a fascinating snack or appetizer. Still centering around tahini and chickpeas, this recipe maintains that classic, nutty taste but makes it all the more unique thanks to beets and oranges. 

You also have sauces and soups to consider. Roast beets and blend them with orange juice, cheese, herbs, olive oil, and spices to make a rich, earthy, and zesty pasta sauce. If you have an immersion blender, cook the same ingredients with broth and other veggies, then blend them into a delectable cream soup. Of course, this pairing's potential stretches beyond these dishes. Experimentation is the key, so don't be afraid to take a few steps outside the box.