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Beet, orange, and fennel salad. The quintessential Italian combination.

Beet season is climbing to its peak now while the Valencia oranges are starting to wind down. I stand in the midst of the two crossing seasons and can’t help but salivate over the luscious flavor combination of plump sweet slow roasted beets served over cool juicy orange slices and sweet crispy fennel slices. The red onions add a bit of a bite, the watercress adds peppery overtones – layers of textures and flavors that come together with a gentle tangy dressing of raspberry-red wine vinaigrette.

This colorful salad is and an amazing texture and flavor fest. I say quintessential Italian because it involves few ingredients of good quality and prepared in the most simple fashion with a taste that’s grand. Very Italian indeed!

You can plate this salad any way you wish. Here’s I just had fun with my mold rings. BTW – I did the food design on this dish with credits to Jesse Louttit for the photography. Amazing photographer. Same collaboration we did for the Italian Cioppino.

 

4-5 medium beets, covered in foil, slow roasted, skin removed, sliced

2 medium oranges, peeled, sliced into wedges, pulp removed

1 medium fennel, cleaned, very thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Watercress leaves, for ganish

Fennel leaves, for garnish

 

Dressing*

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

*NOTE: This is a very lightly dressed salad. Feel free to double the dressing portion for juicer toss.

 

Mise en place the ingredients. Make the dressing.

Be sure to toss the beets separately, as it will color the other ingredients. For the best presentation, regardless of how you wish to serve this salad, toss ingredients separately (beets last), and plate them as you go.

Garnish with watercress leaves and fennel leaves.

Great with a chilled glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Enjoy!

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