This salad was inspired by one we had on New Years eve. It was a beet salad my husband loved. Now I have known David 29 years and have never seen him eat a beet, let alone like it. I adore beets, so I am thrilled. I came home, played around and came up with this salad. I have to say even though I love raw fennel, roasting it has become my new go to. Roasting fennel, like roasting most veggies, brings it sweetness out and softness the strong flavors. If you like fennel I would suggest you try roasting it and see what you think. I keep some on hand to throw in dishes. It is so much easier to just roast a big pan of something and then have it to use!
Tips on changing your beet hater!
- 1. Golden beets have a much sweeter and softer flavor. Even thought I used red beets for this photo, I try to use golden when I make it for David.
- 2. Buy the best, fresh beets you can. Also roast/bake them!
- 3. Do NOT used canned beets. Really I have found most pre-cooked beets to be mushy. You want them cooked tender but not mush.
- 4. I marinate them for a couple of days before serving them to hubby.
- 5. Also I cut them up and put them in the dressing while they are still warm (thanks for the tip Angie).
- 6. Use a dressing with a lot of flavor. Basically you want the beets to taste like the vinaigrette. I have found if you can get someone to eat something (even if you have to drown it in other flavors) over time they get use to the veggie and then you can go lighter on the flavors.
Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette
to roast fennel pre-heat over 400˚F
Take whole fennel and cut in thin slices from top to bottom. Set slices on parchment paper. Lightly oil both sides and sprinkle salt on-top. Roast 45-60 minutes. I like them tender but still a bit al dente, firm. But cook to your liking. When fennel is cool, cut into small pieces. I store fennel in a covered bowl in the fridge, to use as wanted.
Juice 1/2 small orange
1 TBL Dijon mustard
1 TBL raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp honey
oil to taste, 1/4-1/3 cup or so. I like avocado oil for this.
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all together, taste and adjust to your liking. Amounts of beets and fennel is up to what you like, what you have on-hand and how many people you are serving.
Like I mentioned in my tips above. I like to marinate the beets in the vinaigrette a few days before serving them, so I do the fennel separately. Then add the roasted fennel to the beets and vinaigrette just before serving!