Baby Beets with Goat Cheese and Fennel


Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky

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baby beets

I love beets. You would kind of guess that from a guy who named his restaurant The Little Beet. Here, I combine beets--richly purple and deeply golden--with crisp, paper-thin shaved fennel, goat cheese, mint, and dill.

The crunchy fennel adds snap, but just as important, its light licorice flavor brings out the sweetness of the beets. Mint does too. That makes them ideal partners for beets, which are known for their sugar content. This is a great winter salad because the colors and textures make it feel fresh as a spring breeze.

Serves 4

For the beets:

  • 1/2 pound baby golden beets 
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound baby red beets

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

To assemble:

  • 1/4 pound baby candy striped beets, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1 grapefruit-size bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and thinly shaved on a mandoline
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs dill, picked
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

To make the beets:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a piece of foil, toss the golden beets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper and wrap tightly. Repeat with the red beets, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a second piece of foil. Roast in the oven until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and peel the beets under cool running water while they're still hot.

To make the dressing:

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, honey, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Quarter the beets and place them in separate bowls. Pour half of the vinaigrette over each and toss. Marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.

To assemble:

Place the striped beets and fennel in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, mint, and dill. Pour over the fennel and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide the fennel among 4 plates. Arrange some of each beet over the fennel and top with the goat cheese.

Reprinted from “Good Fat Cooking” by Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky. Copyright (c) 2014 by Franklin Becker. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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