January 8, 2011

Beet Salad with Roasted Fennel and Goat Cheese

I am not quite sure why the combination of beets, fennel and goat cheese works so well, but it most certainly is delicious maybe due to the strong but subtle flavors of each ingredient. Beets are a lovely root to cook with because they have a sweet mellow flavor and retain their vivid color after cooking. This salad reminds me of spring, and so somehow seems especially fitting to be eaten in the middle of winter. Beet salad accompanies stewed pork or stuffed vegetables very well.

Using only one color of beet will work just as well. Any other green may be used instead of or in addition to arugula.

For Gabrielle and Nate because I made this salad for their wedding using vegetables they grew on their farm in Maine.

2 medium purple beets

2 medium golden beets

¼ c goat cheese, crumbled

1 bulb of fennel, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

4 c arugula

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss fennel with olive oil and spread evenly in a large baking pan. Place fennel in the oven and roast until slightly browned, 10-15 minutes. Once browned, remove from oven, turn oven off and set fennel aside.

2. Meanwhile, steam whole beets until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Once tender, remove beets from heat and peel skin using hands or a peeler while beets are still hot. Cut each beet into 8-10 segments, keeping the colors in separate bowls.

3. Divide fennel and parsley evenly between the two bowls of beets, add ½ tbsp olive oil to each bowl. Stir each bowl to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve beets over arugula and top with crumbled goat cheese. May be plated on a large platter or in individual portions.

Serves 3-4


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