This is one of those unusual dishes that turned out to be fantastic. Earthy beets, sweet apple and unmistakable flavor of fennel all dressed with a flavorful vinaigrette and topped with candied walnuts. It’s a flavor sensation!
This recipe came about as I had an extra fennel left over from a lasagne I made and a beet that I had sitting in the fridge. A google search of fennel and beet brought me to a few various recipes, some of which included my favorite apple, the Fuji. I came up with my own version using this wonderful dressing. To be honest, I don’t really care for beets much but am trying to work them into my lifestyle. This salad was perfect! The beets and all the flavors come together beautifully. When I’m looking to add beets into my meal rotation this will be my go-to salad. You could also use other colored beets too. I experimented with a yellow one and it was just as colorful and tasty as well. The maple pecans really add a nice touch. I can’t imagine making this salad without all of the ingredients as they each add their own special touch but you can adjust to suit your flavor palate. I’m looking forward to more of this in the future using some of the other colored beets again as well…really delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Cheers :)
APPLE, BEET & FENNEL SALAD + BALSAMIC MAPLE-DIJON VINAIGRETTE
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 red beet (uncooked), peeled and julienned (or grated)
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (save a few fronds reserved for garnish, if any)
- 1 Fuji apple, or hard crisp apple or pear of choice, cored and diced (or grated)
- small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
- arugula or spinach, to serve (optional)
Balsamic Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place nuts in the center, drizzle with maple syrup and using your finger, mix well to coat. Place in a single layer. Cook for about 10 minutes, set aside to cool. Maple will be caramelized on the nuts and your home will be smelling oh so good at this point!
In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette, whisk until well blended adding, add salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare your vegetables, fruit and herbs. Place them in a medium size mixing bowl, add the vinaigrette and mix well.
Serve on a small bed of arugula or spinach, garnish with nuts and a few fennel fronds. Enjoy this nutritious and delicious salad!
Serves 2 – 3
Since red beets tend to be pretty messy to work with, you may like to use golden beets instead. You may also consider using apple cider vinegar in place of the balsamic so the dark color of the balsamic doesn’t discolor your lighter colored beets.