Fennel, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fennel, Beets and Arugula are all in season springtime vegetables.  We made this salad along with some pan seared chicken breasts on a bed of wilted dandelion greens ( also in season)- obviously we are highlighting the salad because it was the star of our meal- dandelion greens, not so much ( very bitter, we welcome any suggestions to try them again, until that happens we won’t be getting them… ).  Back to our Fennel, Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad; we tossed it in a homemade dressing that had finely chopped chives and shallots, which balanced well with the variety of bold flavored veggies- fennel holds it’s crunchy bite and sweet anise flavor offset by the peppery arugula, and back to the sweet roasted beets with tangy goat cheese to top it all off…  A mouthful of flavors, this is no boring salad!

2 medium beets (red or gold), washed, tops removed, and cut in half
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced chives
1 diced shallot
1-2  fennel bulbs, top trimmed
6 cups baby arugula
2 oz goat cheese, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place beets in a small baking dish. Add 11/2 teaspoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until beets are tender. Let beets cool, peel off skin, and cut into bite-size wedges.
3. Whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, chives, and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Add 11/2 tablespoons of dressing to beets and toss to coat.
4. Cut fennel bulb in half and remove core. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice fennel and transfer to a large bowl. Add arugula and gently toss to mix. Add remaining dressing and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Heap a mound of fennel-arugula salad in center of each plate. Scatter beets around fennel mixture and goat cheese and serve.


Beet and Basil salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Happy Valentine’s Day!
In case you didn’t know, beets are SO so good, fabulously cheap, and they are FULL of fiber and nutrients to keep you full and healthy.  They also are a vibrant hue of red that is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner salad!  Goat cheese is so smooth and creamy…. in this dish it creates a perfect balance between the crunchy walnuts and sweet fresh basil and sumptuous beets.  Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh cracked pepper, and you will see what we mean!
Serves 2-4 depending on serving size desired
2 medium beets
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup basil, sliced in strips
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste
You’ll need a pot with a steamer basket insert and lid, fill the pot with 2 inches of water ( we use a metal colander that happens to fit perfectly within our stock pot)  Place the beets in the basket and cover with the lid, bring to a boil, then simmer with lid on for 35-40 minutes until beets are poke tender.  Allow them to cool a bit, then using a paper towel rub the skin off the beets, it should easily peel off.  Trim the top and bottom stem parts away.  Slice the beets in to 1/4″ thick round and place in an ice bath to cool completely. 
Pat the beet rounds dry, then plate desired amount.  Top the beets with some goat cheese crumbles, then some basil, sprinkle with walnuts, and drizzle olive oil on top.  Fresh cracked pepper and salt if desired!