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…)
My newest phase is absolutely, 100% roasted fennel.
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 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!
*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.