Let me tell you a secret: I’ve always liked beets. Even as a little kid when my mom served us canned beets, I loved ’em. Let me tell you another secret: beets are super easy to make; they just take some time. And one more secret, just for good measure: I’m obsessed with Maizey. Oh, wait. That’s not a secret. Oh well. Well, back to beets. [FYI discussing beets always makes me think, “Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.”] Ok, for reals now. Back to beets. I’m gonna tell you how to make a beet salad. Beets beats battle…sorry, I digress.
OK. Wash your beets. Scrub ’em good. Put them in a pan and add 1/4″ water to the pan.
Cover that pan tightly with foil. Stick it in a 425* oven.
Wash your fennel. Cut the fronds off and then cut your fennel into wedges.
Drizzle with olive oil and also cover that pan with foil. Stick it in the oven with the beets. They’re going on a date. It’s gonna get hot in there.
Meanwhile, eat the bulk of the goat cheese that will be going on the salad. Wait, don’t do that. You’ll ruin your appetite. Oh hell, just do it. I did. And it was worth it. Just try to save some of it. You really only need a little.
Roasted Beet, Fennel, Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce, washed & torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4-5 beets, scrubbed clean
- 1 fennel bulb (cut of the green frondy things)
- 1/4 c walnuts
- Cheese – I used Snofrisk Norweigan Goat Cheese, but parmesan, chèvre, goat gouda or a sharp white cheddar would all be good.
- olive oil
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 t dijon mustard
- 1/2 t maple syrup
- salt & pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Put your beets in a baking pan and add 1/4″ water. Cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven.
3. Cut your fennel into wedges, place in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven.
4. Roast the beets and fennel until very tender, 45-60 minutes. While they are baking, eat the goat cheese that will ruin your appetite. You can also watch an episode of Homeland or Nashville* during this time.
5. After you eat the goat cheese you aren’t supposed to, heat a pan over medium low heat and put your walnuts in there. Stir occasionally and toast for 5-10 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant. If you wanted to be fancy, you could make them sugared walnuts by adding granulated sugar to the pan and stirring very often until it melts and gets all yummy on the walnuts. Set aside.
6. Once the beets and fennel are tender (the beets will probably need to go a little longer than the fennel), remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes or until you can handle them without burning your fingerprints off. Although, that would be handy trait to have if you wanted to be a character on Homeland. [if you are making this ahead, just refrigerate the beets and fennel until you are ready to assemble the salad.]
7. While the beets and fennel cool, grate some of the cheese. And prepare the dressing. Just mix it all in a small bowl. Put the romaine in a large bowl, drizzle the dressing on top, and toss to coat evenly. Add slowly – you may not need all the dressing. I like just a light dressing on my greens.
8. Slice the beets and fennel thinly and assemble the salad. I like the fennel on the bottom, then the romaine, then beets on the side, the top off with walnuts and cheese. But it’s gonna all get mixed up so you can really just put it all there however you want.
9. Impress your friends and family with your beet salad.
Are you a black licorice fan? If you are, you’ll probably like fennel. But even if you’re not, you should still try fennel. Eat your vegetables!
Do you watch The Office? I haven’t watched it in a few years. But man, they had some hilarious episodes.
*Speaking of Nashville – anyone else seen the latest episode??? Whaaaaa???