- Prep time
- 1 hour
- Cook time
- 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 6 servings
Great for any outdoor gathering, this fresh salad highlights a variety of fruit and vegetable flavors. Fennel is young and tender in early spring, and stays crisp against the bright vinegar dressing.
- 3-4 bunches baby beets (golf-ball-sized) with greens
- 4 cups water
- 3 medium oranges
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 small red onions
- 1 bag baby arugula
- 2 cups pear vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1½ cups canola oil
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Chill salad plates in refrigerator until ready for use.
Wash beets thoroughly, trim the tops and set them aside for later. Put beets into a roasting pan and fill halfway with cold water. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast in oven for about 1 hour, or until beets are knife tender. While the beets are in the oven, prepare the other ingredients.
Segment oranges as follows. First slice a small portion from the top and bottom. Set citrus upright on either sliced edge and run a sharp knife from the top, down the side, to the bottom, following the natural shape of the fruit. Remove all of the pith and zest but as little of the flesh as possible. Roll citrus onto its side and cut each segment of flesh from between the visible membrane, leaving behind as little flesh as possible. Set segments aside.
Trim fennel tops; rinse bulb in cold running water and shake loose any extra water. Shave bulb by slicing paper-thin pieces, running knife from top to bottom. Cut onions in half horizontally, lay halves on their side, then cut into ¼-inch-thick strips (lyonnaise). Wash and dry arugula and beet tops; combine together in a large bowl.
In a blender, combine ½ cup pear vinegar, honey, mustard, thyme and a dash of salt and pepper. Set blender on low and slowly drizzle in the canola oil until incorporated (emulsify).
When the beets are tender, rinse and peel under cold water. Cut them into ½-inch-thick slices, season with salt and pepper, and cover with the remaining vinegar; let stand for 30 minutes.
Just prior to serving, toss salad together with half the dressing. Divide evenly among chilled plates. Drizzle remaining dressing over each of the salads.
Serve as is or enjoy with a poached halibut fillet or grilled shrimp for the perfect lunch. Pair salad with a chilled Pinot Noir Rosé or Sancerre.