Roasted beet and fennel salad with orange and dill ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

20 February 2015

Roasted beet and fennel salad with orange and dill

Roasted beet and fennel salad with orange and dill

I've been meaning to make this salad for weeks, but life kept getting in the way. Well, both life and my own innate laziness, not to mention my desire to eat other things, such as big dishes of curry, that would not go very well with such a thing. But now I have made it and eaten it and it was delicious.

This is such a great salad for the middle of winter: full of bright and tangy flavors, but also the warmth and comfort of roasted vegetables. Adding some chickpeas or white beans would make it a full lunch with very little effort. And any leftover beets and fennel can just chill in the refrigerator for future salad endeavors. It's definitely a win all around.

It has been far too long since I've put citrus pieces in a salad. These orange segments were possibly the best contrast ever to the earthiness of beet and the gentle bite of roasted fennel. I know what I'll be doing with the next few oranges that fall off our tree.

Roasted beet and fennel salad with orange and dill

This is also an excellent way to get random beets out of your crisper! Mine were these exciting torpedo-shaped monsters. I still have another bunch of beets hanging around. Maybe those will become salad mark II.

Roasted beet and fennel salad with orange and dill

1 large or 2-3 small beets per serving
1/2 large head fennel per serving
olive oil, salt, pepper
up to 1 orange per serving
1 handful chopped dill per serving (or sub fennel fronds)
Orange and shallot dressing

Start by preheating the oven to 350F to roast your vegetables. For the beets: trim off any beet greens, scrub well, and put in a casserole dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with foil. For the fennel: core, remove stems and fronds, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Toss with a glug of olive oil and a few shakes apiece of salt and pepper. Put them in a different baking dish, so they can caramelize a bit and not turn magenta while cooking.

Put your beets and fennel into the oven and roast for approximately one hour, or until they are tender to the point of a knife. Let your beets cool enough to touch before rubbing off the skins with your hands. Be careful, because there will be beet juice everywhere! Cut the peeled beets into bite-sized pieces.

Supreme your oranges. Start by cutting off the skins, removing the white pith as you go. Then, using a small paring knife, cut directly next to the membrane on one side of a segment, and then the other. This should let you remove the segment, completely free of membranes. Repeat until you've removed all the orange flesh. Save the core of the orange and any juice on the cutting board to make the dressing.

To assemble your salad, arrange your fennel, beets, and orange segments on a plate. Scatter a handful or two of chopped dill over the vegetables and fruit. Dress with orange and shallot dressing, add some extra pepper if you desire, and serve.

Roasted beet and fennel salad with orange and dill

Orange and shallot dressing
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

1 clove garlic
2 large pinches salt
1 large or 2 small shallots
1/8 cup orange juice (squeezed from the carcass of the orange)
2 tbsp lemon juice
several good grinds of pepper
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil

Mince your garlic, sprinkle it with salt, and crush it to a puree by scraping it with the flat of your knife. Finely mince your shallot.

Put all your ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously until the oil is well emulsified. Taste and correct seasonings before serving. Refrigerate extra dressing for future salads. Makes approximately 3/4 cup.

What salads are you eating this winter?


foodfeud said...

I have never seen beets like that!! Wow! Put to good use here, I see. The dressing sounds really great. I've had a barley and orange salad with roasted fennel, but with the beets, the flavor combo must be even nicer.
Really ought to pick up some fennel soon.

Catherine said...

OMG YUM. I love beets and fennel and citrus together! Adding chickpeas would be genius.

Joanne said...

Wow I have never seen beets like that! So cool. Love this fresh salad...proof that you can eat the rainbow even in the winter!

Marissa said...

I love all of the flavors in this salad, Eileen! And those beets are amazing - I'll be on the lookout for them here...