Herbed Beets with Fennel Salad
This salad is easy to make but complex in flavor, as earthy beets and anise-y fennel get coated in a tangy dressing. You can serve this warm or cold—either way it’s sure to be a hit.
- Waihuena farm beets
- fennel bulbs
- tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee (1/4 stick)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dry vermouth
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch tarragon, finely chopped or other Waihuena herb such as sage or holy basil
- Place the beets in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the beets are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, then peel under cold running water. Set the beets aside to cool.
- Slice the fennel bulbs in half lengthwise. (You can remove the green tops and remove the core from each half if you desire – I leave them because I like using the whole plant) and slice the bulbs lengthwise in 1/4-inch-thick strips.
- Return the large pot to the stove, add the olive oil and butter, and heat over medium heat. When the butter foams, add the fennel, season well with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the vermouth, mustard, and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, slice the peeled beets into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Add the beets to the pot and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the herbs, taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Cooked fennel doesn’t taste licoricey at all, it’s delicate and mellow and has a natural sweetness with a texture that is similar to bok chou. Fresh herbs combined with lemon, lemon zest, olive oil and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano makes for the perfect topping to enhance the flavors even more. You can grill your fennel ahead of time either outside or on an indoor grill, just don’t flip them until you get a nice char on each side and they’re tender to the touch. It is best to grill them on medium, watching closely. They take about 5 minutes per side.
- fennel bulbs, sliced
- olive oil
- fresh herbs like basil, parsley and thyme and some fennel fronds
- lemon juice and zest
- Parmigiano Reggiano shavings
- Cut off any hard outer parts of your fennel (optional of course)
- Trim a tiny bit off the bottom, the core helps to keep your slices in tact.
- Holding your fennel bulb upright cut ¼ inch slices vertically from top to bottom.
- Brush each side with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Place slices on a medium hot grill turning until you get a nice char on each side and fennel is tender to the touch.
- Whisk together the lemon, olive oil, herbs and zest adding salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle all over.
- Garnish with the shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Delicious slightly warm or at room temperature.