Blood Orange, Beet and Basil Salad

So I had a crazy flashback while making this blood orange salad.

Blood orange salad

I was standing in the restaurant in 105degrees, in my little cheffer outfit, segmenting an entire bucket of blood oranges. It was my first time working with the citrus, so naturally I was astonished by the bright, bold color.

Blood oranges

I used the orange segments as a garnish for a fancy raw cheesecake, which was also drizzled with a sweet blood orange glaze. 

raw cheesecake

(from back in the day! I can’t believe that was 5 years ago)

We stored the cheesecake in the freezer because the cashew filling softened quickly, and we’d pop one off a plate, and garnish just before serving. We usually used our chef’s knives to remove said cheesecake from the plate, and you can probably see where this is going. I had a stubborn cheesecake, and when I finally got it off the plate, the plate went flying through the air, shattered (in an intimate and quiet dining atmosphere) and I also gashed my hand in the process. The end, and the reason why my stint in restaurant cooking (or un-cooking) was fairly short-lived πŸ˜‰

I couldn’t help but grab a bag of blood oranges when I saw them at Trader Joe’s. A tiny part of me throughout about doing another raw cheesecake, but I decided to keep things simple and let the natural flavor of the oranges shine, instead of being muddled with a ton of ingredients.

Blood orange salad

Follow this recipe to make a bright and savory blood orange salad.


Blood Orange Salad with Beets and Basil


  • 1 bag of oranges, segmented (about 1.5 cups)
  • One pack steamed beets (or six fresh beets, roasted and salted)
  • 2 cups basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Sunflower seeds


  1. Segment the bag of oranges.
  2. Add beets and 2 cups chopped basil.
  3. Drizzle on a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and top with sunflower seeds.

Simple and delicious.

Blood orange salad

No plates were damaged in the making of this salad.

Do you have any awesome blood orange recipes? I think the juice would be glorious in a mimosa or sangria!

Have you ever worked in the restaurant atmosphere? Any awesome fail stories? πŸ˜‰

Have a great day!



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  1. Ali on February 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Do blood oranges taste different than regular?

    My first job was working in a kitchen at a nursing home and I HATED it! It didn’t help that I was working with my sister, haha. I always thought I’d love to work in a restaurant because I love to cook but that is definitely not the environment for me!

  2. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on February 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    it look so fancy on that delicate white plate. yummy and beautiful!

  3. Jackie on February 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Yum I’ve never had a blood orange before!!

  4. Stella G on February 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Blood Orange Margaritas are my favorite way to use them!

    2 oz Blood Orange Juice
    2 oz Blanco Tequila
    1 oz Lime Juice
    1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (I like Patron Citronge best!)

    Shake with ice & serve in a glass with ice.

    This makes for a rather tart margarita – add some more liqueur or agave if you want it sweeter!

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      happening. thank you!

    • Erin on February 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Agree! Blood orange margaritas are the best!

  5. Allison Galassie on February 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I have been dying to make a salad like this! However, I appear to be incapable of properly segmenting citrus…

  6. RachelG on February 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    That salad looks delicious and makes me think warm, Summery thoughts as I sit in freezing cold New England!

    When I was working at Wendys in college I was bringing 2 Frostys out to customers and slipped on a recently washed floor. I fell right on my back! Thankfully only my ego was bruised, but I was really impressed with myself because I was able to not spill a drop out of either cup. πŸ˜‰

  7. Sara on February 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    That salad looks so fresh and yummy!

    There is a restaurant here that makes a blood orange cosmopolitan…now I’m not a huge sweet drink fan but this cosmo is sooooo good and dangerous πŸ™‚

  8. Amber Schumann on February 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Ooooh, I just had a salad for lunch yesterday with blood oranges (I didn’t make it). Segments were accompanied by toasted walnuts, goat cheese and a little drizzle of balsamic reductions. O EM GEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Sara @ fitcupcaker on February 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I made a blood orange green juice, recipe on my blog if you want to check it out. Love blood oranges!

  10. Britt@MyOwnBalance on February 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    This looks amazing and now I want a mimosa or sangria! Your story is very funny! Sounds like something I would do!

  11. Kelly on February 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I have this cookbook called the occasional vegetarian and there is a fennel and orange salad in there that I LOVE.

    It is simply a salad bag of any kind of greens (can be bitter like arugula or mixed baby greens) a fennal bulb sliced up and 1 or 2 oranges (I like either blood or cara cara’s) sectioned with an citrus vinigarette on top. The vinegarette is lime juice (I also use the orange champagne vinegar from TJ’s), oil, salt pepper and herb like thyme or oregano. I have lemon thyme which tastes awesome in this vinigarette.

    Toss together and it is amazing. Tweak to taste

  12. Susan on February 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I had to use up some of our CSA produce, before our new box arrived a few days ago, so I made a smoothie with carrots, golden beets, blood oranges and freshly squeezed orange juice. I wish I had ginger on hand too, I bet that would have been an awesome immune booster. That salad looks delicious!

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      that sounds wonderful!!

  13. Meg on February 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Have you tried Sumo oranges? They’re quite pricey ($2 each!), but they’re large and honestly the best orange I’ve had in my entire life. Blood oranges used to be my boo, but I broke up with them for Sumos. I dream about these oranges and then devour them (okay, I ration myself one a day) from now until they’re out of season in early April-ish. They can be tricky to find, but I’ve had good luck at Whole Foods and Wegmans.

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      awesome, i’ll be on the lookout!

  14. Erin on February 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    The first time I ever had blood oranges was at the airport in Milan (waiting for a late flight). Lots of blood orange screwdrivers were consumed and they were amazing. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      that sounds glorious!!

  15. Shaina Anderson on February 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    blood orange juice is SO good in a mimosa. also, that salad looks amaaaaazing. I. LOVE. BEETS. I could go into a quote from Season 1 of The Office but I’m stopping myself haha.

    I worked at a steakhouse called Firebirds in college and only had 1 major fail, thank GOD. I was serving during a lunch shift and these ladies ordered a bottle of white wine. I don’t remember if it was because I was new and hadn’t gotten the hang of carrying drinks on a tray or just out of it that day, but for some reason I leaned too much when setting their waters down and the whole bottle of wine went all over them and the table. Page the major fail whale.

    I made a raw strawberry cheesecake for Valentine’s Day! It was so yummy. In fact, I still have some in the freezer….

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      oh noooooooooo
      raw cheesecake is SO good

  16. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on February 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Ooooh, that cheesecake looks so good! The salad does too, but cheesecake always wins in my books πŸ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      i think dessert always wins πŸ˜‰

  17. Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} on February 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    This looks awesome! I really love the color of the blood oranges, so pretty. I use to work at Disney at the ice cream parlor, closets to a restaurant job for me!

  18. Melissa on February 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    We bought a few blood oranges a couple weeks ago and promptly turned them (well, the fresh squeezed juice) into cocktails! Mimosas one time and the next time the blood orange juice and vokda…I said that it might have been cool to do a salted rim with that one but I wasn’t motivated enough to get up and dirty another glass to try it…haha!

  19. Jenni on February 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    What about a blood orange marmalade? I bet it would taste awesome on toast with some nut butter!

  20. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on February 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve never worked in a restuarant and probably a good thing too because I would have done exactly what you described. Believe it or not, I’ve never tried a blood orange before.

  21. Livi on February 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    blood oranges are so food with eggs and toast.. yum!

  22. Heather on February 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Hey, just a quick suggestion for whenever you do the next blog upgrade…I always find maneuvering through and trying to find old posts where there was something I wanted to reference especially clunky on your blog. Is there any way to add a “Previous”, “Next” button on the bottom so that we could more easily scan through groups of posts. Right now it seems like there are links to about 5 of the most recent blogs, but then you have to click into one and manually scan through each one to get back a few weeks…it just is kind of a giant pain for an impatient person like myself. Just a thought!

    • Fitnessista on February 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      it’s funny you left this comment because i had the same problem today haha. i was trying to find an old post and kept scrolling back. it was a giant PITA. thank you for reminding me to email my web guy πŸ™‚

      • Heather on February 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm

        Ha! Awesome…on the other hand it has forced me to get “creative” with my search terms when I am trying to find something specific…which normally takes me more time than if I had just started clicking. πŸ™‚

  23. Kristal on February 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I have worked in many restaurants over the years and being a clumsy person i have had a LOT of fails, but my best one was probably when I was working at a small smoothie place in a gym. It was a busy weekend rush, lined up down the hall and I spilled a huge container of honey, some on the floor but mostly all down the side of myself. I remember laughing in the restroom trying to de-honey my shoes and socks. Good times πŸ™‚

  24. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on February 27, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Love blood oranges! I usually juice them or eat them raw so I can’t wait to try this salad. Obsessed with the idea of blood orange and basil now. I’m also thinking that would be an awesome twist on a mojito mmmm!

  25. Alex @ Kenzie Life on February 27, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Oh wow that orange looks so refreshing! I have yet to really experiment with them but I bet they’d make a great addition to a smoothie if frozen!

  26. Steph! on February 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Holy buckets – it was 5 years ago that you were at 105 degrees? I’ve been reading that long? Time flies!!

    I was a server 12-13 years ago. It made me the tipper I am today πŸ™‚

  27. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on February 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    mmmmmmm what a lovely salad sweetie

  28. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on February 27, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Love blood oranges! They always bring me back to traveling to Italy, which was wear I first had them from a vendor outside of Pompeii ruins.

    This salad looks really good! I’m feeling like maybe some goat cheese crumbles on top would be good.

  29. tavolini on February 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Blood Orange Lemonade! (basically just makes it pink without the dye…)

    man….restaurants. I have too many stories. Suppose the one I remember best was my first job at 15. My arm was jarred and I ended up pouring an entire pot of coffee on my white dress shirt and uniform, in order to avoid hitting any customers with it….yeeeeouch! Also, I waited on the band, Cameo (Word Up!) while working in a casino. Plenty of stories about telling little old ladies to stop stuffing their purses full of the all-you-can-eat shrimp from the buffet before heading out to the casino floor πŸ˜‰

  30. Sarah on February 28, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I found a recipe for blood orange tarts that I’ve been waiting to try so this may be the push I’ve been waiting for! Although the recipe calls for homemade blood orange curd so we will see how it turns out!

  31. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on February 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I found a recipe for blood orange and olive oil cake while flipping through a magazine last week. It looked to.die.for. and your cheesecake fiasco has me cracking up! Too funny!

  32. Becky @ Life Outside The BOX on February 28, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Funny story! I love Chobani’s blood orange greek yogurt!

  33. Angie on February 28, 2014 at 11:31 am

    The best ever blood orange recipe. BEHOLD:

    Do it do it do it. It’s so delicious.

    • Fitnessista on February 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      I WILL πŸ™‚ thank you!

  34. RavieNomNoms on February 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

    This looks amazing! I have been on blood orange kick lately too!

  35. Tracy on February 28, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I’m obsessed with citrus right now!! Just picked up some Sumos at Whole Foods. So delicious! Super juicy and sweet. Mr. produce told me they’re only around for a short time so look for them!

    • Fitnessista on February 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      i will when i hit whole foods up this weekend!

  36. mary on February 28, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I started reading when you were in that school. I was wondering how long it had been.

    I did a lifetime in restaurants. You dodged a bullet, there.

    I have some local blood orange olive oil (and Meyer lemon and Mexican lime) that I can’t figure out what to do with.

  37. Kelli on March 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I did a blood orange mocktail last fall that would be fabulous for those who want to add a little champagne to it!

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