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Rich Vegan Fennel and Beet Salad Full of Nutrients

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Nurit Kachlon-Sinay – @buttercup_kitchen_
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This delicious fennel and beet salad can also serve as a delicious and healthy side for a complete meal.

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 3 fennels, halved
  • 2 beets
  • Coarse salt
  • Dried mint

Pesto:

  • 5 stalks mint, only the leaves
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro/parsley
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Soften the fennel in boiling water for about 30 minutes. Remove them from the water and let them cool. Sprinkle with coarse salt and dried mint, then drizzle with oil. Grill on a cast-iron pan or use an air fryer for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
  • Peel the beets and wrap them in aluminum foil. Place them in a baking dish and cover them halfway with water. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the beets are tender. If necessary, add water to the dish during baking.
  • Grind all the pesto ingredients in a food processor. Pour the pesto onto a large plate, then arrange the fennel and beets on top. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

MY NOTES

fennel and beet salad recipe
Credit: Nurit Kachlon-Sinay

To complement the vibrant flavors of the fennel and beet salad, consider serving it alongside protein-rich dishes. Grilled chicken breast marinated in lemon and herbs provides a tender and flavorful option, enhancing the freshness of the salad. Alternatively, seared salmon fillets with a honey-garlic glaze offer a succulent seafood option that pairs beautifully with the salad’s earthy notes. For vegetarians, grilled tofu or tempeh seasoned with a savory marinade adds a satisfying protein component. Lastly, hearty lentil or chickpea salads with a zesty vinaigrette can provide a nutritious and filling accompaniment to complete the meal.

Alternative methods for cooking the beets

There are several alternative methods for cooking beets. One option is boiling them in a pot of water until they are tender when pierced with a fork, which typically takes about 30-45 minutes depending on their size. Another method is steaming the beets, either using a steamer basket on the stove or in the microwave, which can take around 20-30 minutes. Additionally, beets can be roasted in the oven without wrapping them in foil, which typically takes about 45-60 minutes at 400°F (200°C) until they are fork-tender. These methods offer versatility in preparing beets to suit different recipes and preferences.

Can I prepare the pesto ahead of time and store it in the fridge?

Yes, you can prepare the pesto for this fennel and beet salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Pesto typically keeps well in an airtight container for up to a week when refrigerated. To maintain its freshness, cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil before sealing the container. This helps prevent oxidation and preserves the vibrant green color. Before using the pesto, give it a stir to recombine any separated oil. Additionally, you can freeze pesto in ice cube trays for longer-term storage, allowing you to portion out small amounts for future use with minimal effort.

fennel and beet salad recipe
Credit: Nurit Kachlon-Sinay

How do I know when the beets are tender enough to be removed from the oven?

You can check the doneness of beets by inserting a fork or knife into the center of the largest beet. If it slides in easily with little resistance, the beets are tender and cooked through. Another method is gently squeezing the beets; if they yield slightly under pressure, they are likely cooked. Additionally, the skins may start to wrinkle and peel away from the flesh when the beets are fully cooked. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become mushy. Once tender, remove the beets from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before handling or incorporating them into your dish.

Are there any garnishes that can be added to enhance the presentation of this fennel and beet salad?

To enhance the presentation of the fennel and beet salad, consider adding some visually appealing garnishes. Freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or chives sprinkled over the top can add a pop of color and freshness. Toasted nuts or seeds like walnuts, almonds, or pumpkin seeds provide a crunchy texture and nutty flavor profile. Additionally, a drizzle of balsamic glaze or reduction can create an elegant finishing touch, adding a hint of sweetness and acidity. For a burst of color and flavor, thinly sliced radishes or citrus segments make lovely and vibrant garnishes that complement the salad beautifully.

fennel and beet salad recipe
Credit: Nurit Kachlon-Sinay

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