Last week I ate the most interesting sort of diet.
As you may know, I've just started receiving weekly boxes from my CSA at Siena Farms. In many ways, it's been super exciting each week to anticipate what kind of cool and unique produce will show up in my box. I haven't been disappointed yet!
However, it also started at a less-than-convenient time.
We've been traveling a lot in June. We visited Yellowstone earlier this month (fascinating and beautiful place, by the way), and then proceeded to fly to Seattle the following week to attend a wedding. On top of all that, Bryan left mid-week to go to New York for a business trip.
Which means I was left eating the entire box of vegetables myself.
It was good training, and sort of fun, actually. I became really disciplined about cooking as much vegetables as possible in order to eat as much of it as possible before we left for our next trip.
It was crazy. I ate two heads of lettuce and kohlrabi crunch salad for dinner one evening. Another evening, I made my mom's Asian crunchy broccoli stem salad. I even stayed up late at night roasting beets and fennel to make this salad for lunch the next day.
I ate so many vegetables. It was like a 95% vegetable diet (with a few nuts thrown in there).
I loved it and I felt amazing.
This beet and fennel salad is pretty easy to make. I didn't really follow a recipe. My main goal was to save as many steps as possible since I was cooking late at night.
Many recipes ask you to wrap up beets in foil and roast for an entire hour. Ever since I discovered how amazing beets can taste when you just chop them up and roast them, I've never gone back to the foil method.
This way saves time, and the beets are still delicious.
I think the best way to make this is to cube the beets, though they are extremely pretty when you slice them (if you have these gorgeous striped beets like the ones I got from Siena Farms). The discs are just more likely to dry out in the oven, which makes them a bit leathery.
I roasted the beets along with some sliced fennel bulb at 350 °F in the oven for about 30 minutes or so, or until everything seemed cooked and softened.
Toss with some salt and pepper to taste and decorate with fennel fronds if you wish.
This salad is oh-so-simple, super healthy, and delicious.
Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
3-4 medium sized beets
½ to 1 fennel bulb
~1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fennel fronds (optional)
I hesitate to put any exact amounts because this dish is so flexible. I personally did not measure, though if you look at the photos you'll realize that I used about four small beets and one fennel bulb. This was largely due to the fact that this is the amount I got in my CSA box! I hate to be so vague, but it is really up to you what amounts you want to make. I think 3-4 regular sized beets to a small fennel bulb is not a bad starting point, but feel free to adjust based on your preference!
Remove the green stems from the beets and cut them up into similar sized pieces. I usually don't bother peeling beets because I'm happy enough eating the outer skin as well (and I don't like wasting time). Cubes work the best to maintain juiciness, though slicing works OK as well.
Slice the fennel bulb into 1 cm strips. Combine beets and fennel strips with about 1-2 teaspoon olive oil (or use an oil spritzer if you are trying to avoid using too much oil) ensuring that all pieces are at least somewhat coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine everything.
Roast at 350 °F for about 20-30 minutes, checking periodically to see when the pieces are done. Once finished, remove oven and let cool or serve immediately.
If serving as a cool salad, you can optionally add a splash of citrus for fun.
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