it’s some kind of blessing that citrus season happens to fall smack dab in the middle of the dark days of winter. they are like beautiful beacons of colour among the drab root vegetables (i still love you, parsnips and celery root!). but they are really a welcome change from the hearty foods i crave to stay warm.
grapefruits, meyer lemons, and pomelos are all a little reminder that produce actually can grow on beautiful green trees instead of just in the cold hard ground; and a little hint that summer is coming soon, which reminds me i have to get back to the damn gym and burn off all the pasta i ate for breakfast lunch and dinner this winter.
writing of the gym is also reminding me that salads do exist, and i do actually enjoy them when it’s warm outside. around this time i always forget that i enjoy crisp, cold, refreshing foods and this dish is a solid reminder – the juicy, sweet-tart citrus is a great contrast from crunchy shaved fennel and sweet earthy roasted beets. drizzled with olive oil, white balsamic and finely chopped shallot, it’s healthy and truly beautiful.
beet, fennel & citrus salad
1 large orange, peeled and thinly sliced
1 grapefruit, peeled and thinly sliced
4-5 small beets, roasted, peeled and thinly sliced
1 head of fennel, thinly shaved, fronds trimmed and set aside
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
fresh ground salt and pepper
•to roast beets: heat oven to 400 and place beets in a shallow baking dish with a little bit of water and cover with tinfoil. roast for about an hour or until knife can easily be pierced through. check occasionally and add more water as needed if the beets are scorching.
•gently toss the citrus, shaved fennel and fennel fronds in a large bowl, being careful not to break up the citrus too much
•add to serving dish and gently distribute the beets – don’t just toss everything together or your whole salad will turn fuschia!
•shake shallots oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together and drizzle over salad. serve chilled or at room temp.