by Cat, Aug 2007 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
This salad is my own invention, and one of my favorites. It looks like a bowl of gleaming red gems when served in a glass bowl, and adds wonderful color and flavor to a meal.
Serves 2 as a side salad or appetizer.
- 2 large or 3 small cooked beets (Don’t use canned beets)
- 1 fennel bulb (white part), and a twig or two of the feathery green part.
- 1 – 2 fresh oranges, mandarins or tangerines
- 2 – 3 green onions (scallions)
- Raspberry Vinaigrette (You can also use Balsamic Vinaigrette for a slightly different flavor).
Cook Beets by steaming or roasting 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size and method. Then peel (by sliding off the ‘skin’ with your fingers); trim off the roots with a knife. Slice each beet in half from top to bottom. Cut each half in half, and then each quarter in half, like separating the segments of an orange. Place in a medium size bowl. Chill a bit.
- Meanwhile, trim the bottom and the stem off the raw fennel bulb, reserving some of the feathery green leaves on their stem for garnish. Slice the fennel bulb crosswise in ¼ inch slices, making thin crescents. The slices nearest the bottom will include a round core. Trim the crescents away and discard the core. The upper slices will not have the core; separate the crescents. Place all the crescents in the bowl with the beets.
- Also meanwhile, gently peel the orange and then separate the fruit into segments. Slice the scallions, both white and green parts. Add orange segments and onion slices to the fennel and beets in the bowl.
- Chop some fennel leaves from their stems and add to the bowl.
- Make the dressing, then pour some over the salad. Stir will to mix, adding more dressing as necessary to coat all the ingredients. Cover and chill overnight, mixing to re-coat several times. The juice from the beets will mix with the dressing and color everything red, and allow the flavors to mingle.
- Spoon salad into a clear glass bowl and garnish with the sprigs of fennel leaves.
- LIne a salad bowl with romaine leaves, then fill with the salad.
- Place a romaine leaf on individual salad plates, scoop some salad on each leaf and garnish with a sprig of fennel leaves.