Candy Cane Beet Salad with Orange and Fennel
- SERVINGS: 4
Any beet would work well in this dish, but the tangy blood orange and crunchy fennel slices complement the candy cane's sweetness best.
- 4 medium candy cane or chioggia beets (about 6 ounces each)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 oranges, preferably blood oranges
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 fennel bulbhalved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small baking dish, pour 1/2 inch of water over the beets. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, or until tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and slice them 1/4 inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the orange sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl.
- In a small saucepan, simmer 1/4 cup of the orange juice over moderate heat until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the reduced orange juice into a bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the fennel and parsley and toss well.
- In another medium bowl, toss the beets with the orange juice vinaigrette. Arrange the sliced beets on plates and mound the fennel salad on top. Arrange the oranges around the beets and serve.
The sweet beets and blood oranges in this salad need the bold flavor of a full-bodied Grenache-based rosé. Consider one from Australia or the Rhône Valley.