Roasted Beetroot and Fennel Salad

Posted on 25 November 2010 | 11 comments | share this

I am a big salad eater and can always be counted on to finish up the last few leaves in the bowl.  But when the snowflakes start to fly, and they certainly are today, I find I want a heartier and more substantial salad.  I still eat green salads in the winter but much more infrequently than in the summer, they just feel a bit cool for the winter months.

This salad is nice as it is both hearty with the roasted beets, refreshing with the fresh crunch of the fennel and bright with a light orange dressing.  The feta also adds a bit of richness and a nice salty balance to the sweet earthy beets.

Beets can be rather messy but they are certainly worth the pinkish hued fingers.  I used a combination of deep red, yellow and a lighter pinkish red variety.  I find roasting beets really develops their flavour and sweetness but if you are short on time you could steam them instead.

Orange, fennel and beets are a great flavour and colour combination.  The addition of some orange segments into this salad would also be delcious and very pretty.

If you don’t want the beets to stain everything pink, it works better to layer the salad and then just drizzle the dressing over top instead of tossing it all together.  As you can see below I tossed it in the end which makes the salad a pretty pink, perhaps a little girlie for some.

Some other delicious additions would be roasted hazelnuts or walnuts or a sprinkle of fresh dill for added freshness and colour.  This salad makes a welcome addition to any holiday table or simply as a tasty fall lunch with a piece of crusty bread to mop up the dressing.


Roasted Beetroot and Fennel Salad

A few additions you might like to consider are fresh dill or maybe some roasted hazelnuts or walnuts.  It is also nice to serve this salad over a bed of arugula or other salad greens. If you are short on time you could roast the beets at 375F or even 400F to reduce the cooking time.

Serves 4-6

For the Salad

1 1/2 pounds beets, scrubbed and stemmed

1 bulb fennel, cored and very thinly sliced

1/2 cup crumbled feta or chevre

For the Dressing

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp orange zest (1/2 an orange)

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice (1/2 an orange)

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp apple cider or red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Wash and scrub the beets and trim off the long root end. Wrap the beets in parchment paper or foil and place in a baking dish or on a baking sheet. Roast for about 1 hour. Depending on the size of your beets this could take longer. When the beets are done a sharp knife will slide in easily.

Let the beets cool slightly and slip off the skins. I find it easier to run them under a bit of water to slide the skins off. Cut them into quarters or sixths if they are larger beets.

Slice the fennel into paper thin slices. If you have a mandolin this would be a great time to use it. Place the fennel in a bowl and cover with water until ready to use, this will prevent it from browning.

Whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until combined.

In a medium sized bowl combine the beets, fennel and the dressing. Top with crumbled feta and a fresh grinding of pepper.


Comments

  • Very appealing – may be on our dinner menu tonight – thanks for the inspiration…

  • Hey Melissa,
    This is perfect. I ordered beets from NOWBC and got a gigantic beet yesterday. I usually make borsht with beets or grate them into salads, but this recipe will be perfect for tonight’s dinner! Thanks.

  • Glad I was able to provide some inspiration for you both. Enjoy your beets lovely ladies!

  • Sounds like it is something even I can do!

  • Gorgeous looking recipe, I can’t wait to try this. Love beets, love fresh crumbly cheeses, yes yes yes!

  • Winter salads. Delic! Great recipe, and dialogue. I’ve just linked to this recipe on my blog post about how amazing beets are! Thanks Melissa.

  • Thanks Emma. Just read your blog post, looks great. Keep up the great work.

  • This looks good – was looking for a beetroot fennel salad. Was envisaging roasting the fennel too but I like this idea for keeping it raw and fresh. Will try! Maybe with some crumbled boiled egg instead of feta? And a sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds!

  • Made this. Loved it. Served as mentioned with sunflower seeds and boiled egg. Fabulous. Going to try the leftovers with walnuts I think. Maybe a bit of chilli?

  • Sounds great Monica. Glad you found some inspiration here. It would be delicious with roasted fennel as well, yum!

    Happy Cooking.

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