warm beet & fennel salad.

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Okay, so let’s talk about fennel. It was really the only vegetable I LOATHED… because it tastes exactly like black licorice. It kind of looks like an onion with a big stalk on top? When you cut into it, it has layers just like an onion and the consistency is pretty much the same. A little back story on fennel – I went out to dinner with my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day weekend to Keg & Kitchen (LOVE THIS PLACE!) in Westmont, NJ. I ordered the scallops and they came with fennel puree and sauteed fennel. Interesting. I ate the whole entire thing. It was SO good. So the point to this story is… I no longer hate fennel, as long as it’s cooked! The strong licorice taste goes away and leaves a subtle, delicious layer of flavor when it’s paired with certain things. For this recipe, I paired sauteed fennel with red beets, fresh parsley, and balsamic glaze – sweet, savory, and tangy.

A little side note on this recipe – I used fresh beets, which I boiled. It takes a LONG TIME (about 45 minutes) to boil beets. If you have time constraints and you want to use canned, go ahead. But if you have the time… go with fresh! It’s always better!

RECIPE:

  • 3 large red beets
  • 2 bulbs of fennel
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic & herb seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • balsamic glaze (I used store bought – you can find it near the fresh mozzarella at Wegmans!)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil
  • cut the stalks off the beets – once the water is boiling, add the beets to the pot
  • cook beets for about 45 minutes or until fork tender
  • remove beets from water, and place in a bowl to cool
  • Cut fennel stalks off and slice the fennel like you would an onion
  • wash fennel thoroughly
  • heat a skillet to medium-high heat
  • add butter and olive oil
  • add fennel, garlic & herb seasoning, and fresh parsley
  • cook for about 10-15 minutes until fennel is tender (just like caramelized onions) and remove from heat
  • Once the beets are cooled, peel the skin off!  (the skin should come off really easily – I learned this trick from the family that I nanny for!  you don’t need to peel beets before cooking)
  • Dice the beets and add to fennel
  • serve and top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of fresh parsley!

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