May 1, 2012

Beet, Apple, and Fennel Salad


Beets are delicious served at all temperatures.  Since they store well in the refrigerator, I like to use them for salads.  Their sweet earthy flavor works well with tart and tangy fruits to balance them out.  In this salad, I used fuji apples, fennel, watercress, and walnuts.  The result was a crunchy salad with a solid balance of flavors and textures.  Although the color of the beets does bleed over time, the texture of this salad will hold up and taste equally good the next day. 

During the summer, I would replace the apples with fresh raspberries and a raspberry vinaigrette, and the walnuts with toasted slivered almonds or pignolias.  In the winter, I might add the beets to a salad with pears and roquefort.

Beet, Apple, and Fennel Salad
4-5 roasted beets, depending on size
1 fuji apple, or variety of your choosing, cored
1 small fennel bulb with fronds
1/4 cup raw walnuts (nutritional benefits of nuts greatly reduces when heated)
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 bunch watercress, trim stems
pinch maldon, fleur de sel, or other sort of flake style finishing salt
  black pepper
Slice the roasted beets into rounds about 1/8-1/4? thick so you can enjoy the visual beauty of them in the salad. Scatter them around serving platter.
Use a handled flat slicer or 2mm slicing blade of a food processor to slice the apples. Put them into a medium size bowl.
Remove the fronds (herbal greens) from the fennel bulb and set aside. Trim the fennel of bruises and upper portions of the stalks. Slice the fennel on the same slicer you used for the apples. Add them to the apples.
Immediately, drizzle the walnut oil and champagne vinegar over the sliced apples and fennel. Use your hands to toss it around and separate the slices. Doing this right away will help to prevent the apples from oxidizing. Add the watercress, salt, and pepper.
Gently toss in the cress and seasonings with your hands and pile on top of the plated beets. Sprinkle walnuts and reserved fennel fronds over the salad and serve.


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Categories: Fall & Winter, From The Garden, Fruits, Salads, Vegan Entrees

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