If you're like me and you prefer to cook on Valentine's Day instead of going out, you're likely in planning mode right now. You'll probably end the meal with a decadent, delectable dessert, so it's a good idea to start out with something healthy. This red salad, a recipe from Paulding & Company in the San Francisco area, may be just what you're looking for.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: One hour

Yield: 2 servings



  • 1 small red beet
  • 1 small “cocktail size” grapefruit
  • 1 small blood orange
  • 1 small head treviso (red chicory)
  • 1/2 cup finely shaved fresh fennel
  • grated zest from the orange
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Steam the beet for about a half hour, until tender. Allow to cool.
  2. Peel and julienne the beat. Place in a bowl large enough for all the salad ingredients.
  3. Zest the orange and set the zest aside in a bowl.
  4. Completely peel the grapefruit and orange. First slice off the top and bottom, then stand the fruit on the cutting board and pare away the skin and pith in broad swaths. Over a bowl, slice or segment the orange and segment the grapefruit, allowing the juices to drip into the bowl. Save the juice.
  5. Place the fruit segments in the bowl with the beets.
  6. Wash and dry the treviso leaves, then slice crosswise into slivers. Place in the bowl with the beets and citrus.
  7. Wash the fennel, trim off any brown spots and surfaces. Using the stalks as a handle, thinly shave the fennel bulbs on a mandoline, being very careful of your fingers. If you don’t have a mandoline, simply slice as thinly as possible with a sharp knife. Add the fennel to the bowl.
  8. Make the dressing: Combine the zest, minced shallot, mustard, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper in the bowl with your captured grapefruit and orange juice. Whisk in the oil. Taste the dressing, adjust balance as needed with more vinegar, salt, etc. Since the beets and fruit are sweet, you want the dressing a little more tart than a regular salad dressing.
  9. Toss the salad with some of the dressing, to taste. Finish with a light grinding of black pepper from the mill. Serve immediately.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Healthy, red salad for Valentine's Day
Before you finish your Valentine's dinner with a decadent dessert, start it with this healthy salad full of red fruits and veggies.