Roasted fennel and beetroot salad

Editorial note: I wasn’t happy with the pictures I originally used for this post, so I’ve added new ones. The beetroot in these shots is red instead of golden, but it’s still the exact same (delicious) recipe, so enjoy!

I tend to go through phases when it comes to food – for a month straight it’ll be patties patties patties, and then it’ll be Vietnamese style noodle salads (last month), and then I’ll be all about buttery eggplant on EVERYTHING. (To be fair this particular phase has shown no signs of ending…)

This roasted fennel and beetroot salad gets a burst of freshness from mandarin orange and lots of creamy indulgence from whipped ricotta.

My newest phase is absolutely, 100% roasted fennel.

Guys.

I always thought fennel was a fancy vegetable that was reserved for French cooking and salads with olives and oranges. But this recipe from Laura of A Beautiful Plate has completed changed my fennel game by introducing me to the combination of beetroot + fennel. (Did you check out my beetroot recipe round-up? The internet is CHOCK FULL of amazing ideas on ways to use this gorgeous root!)

The first time I made it, I didn’t pay very close attention the instructions and just assumed that the fennel would be roasted… and I haven’t looked back.

This roasted fennel and beetroot salad gets a burst of freshness from mandarin orange and lots of creamy indulgence from whipped ricotta.

This roasted fennel and beetroot salad is largely inspired by that gorgeous recipe. I keep the dressing a bit simpler, mainly because I’m unwilling to sacrifice any bit of an orange/mandarin for its juice (true life: Pieter and I are citrus fiends and go through a 3 kg bag of oranges in about three days on average). To make up for that simplicity, I bring in the caraway seeds – a genius idea of Pieter’s – for a little extra crunch and some extra anise-y flavour.*

*Wordpress totally thought I was trying to type something other than anise there…

In the original recipe, the beetroot is roasted whole in the oven and then peeled when it’s cooked. Because I’m impatient, I choose to roast it in wedges along with the fennel. Of course, if you’ve got some pre-roasted beetroot, use it! The star of this salad – in my opinion – is quite frankly the roasted fennel. As long as you’ve got that element down, the rest will work out because the flavours just go.

So with that short little note, I’ll leave you with this beauty!

Roasted fennel and beetroot salad

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 big portions

Roasted fennel and beetroot salad

Ingredients

1 bulb fennel, fronds, tops & core removed, cut into wedges
2 beetroots, peeled and cut into wedges
2 mandarin oranges*, in segments (and halved from there if you please)
1/2 cup ricotta
2-3 tbsp oil oil
salt & pepper
For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp runny honey
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt & pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 225c/435f.
2. In a medium bowl, start by tossing the fennel wedges with just enough oil to coat - about 1 tbsp or so - plus a pinch of salt. Lay flat on a baking sheet.
3. Repeat with the beetroot.
4. Pop the veggie into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they've acquired some nice caramelization around the edges.
5. In the meantime, prep the dressing by whisking all ingredients together, except for the caraway seeds. Set aside.
6. Then, toast your caraway seeds in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. They're done when they're fragrant (think of pumpernickel bread!) - about 3-4 minutes - and they can burn easily so don't you walk away now! Once they're done, let them cool slightly and then add them to your dressing.
7. In a small bowl, whisk up the ricotta with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper, until nice and fluffy. (This seems like an odd step, but it brings a lot of lightness to the ricotta and gives it a really pleasant texture.)**
8. When the veggies are out of the oven, combine them with the mandarin oranges, then divide into two separate bowls and top each with some of the ricotta, and a spoonful of dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

*You could of course use regular oranges or clementines - the mandarin oranges have simply been plentiful around here, which is why I chose them. **In her recipe, Laura of A Beautiful Plate whisks the ricotta with some olive oil, which is also delicious, but to my taste it makes such a small difference that I choose to omit it.

http://feastwithsophie.com/index.php/2016/03/01/roasted-fennel-and-beetroot-salad/

Comments

  1. Laura (A Beautiful Plate) says

    Thank you so much Sophie!!! This salad is so gorgeous!!! Love love the colors. Stunning!

    • sophie says

      Thank you for introducing me to this gorgeous combination of flavours, Laura!

  2. says

    There is so much right with this salad! I really think fennel is so underrated and people just don’t use it enough. I’ll eat it any way I can get it; raw, braised, baked, creamed, and especially deliciously roasted like in your salad. I’ll definitely trying this recipe :)

    • sophie says

      Ohh I must try to braise it next!! And creamed! I feel like a whole world of possibility has been opened to me with the gorgeous veg!

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