I'm not usually a big fan of anise-flavored things, but I do love fennel, and, as mentioned over and over again, my husband loves vegetables and crunchy things. It's a great veg because of its versatility...you can eat it raw, pickled, roasted, braised, or any other way you like. And bonus, any trimmings you have left over are great in stock!
This salad packs a ton of flavor: the earthy sweet flavor of the beets pairs perfectly with the pickled fennel, and the salty tang of the miso yogurt ties the whole thing together. Add grains in to make it a whole meal!
BEET AND PICKLED FENNEL SALAD
serves 2 - 4
1 bu beets, red and gold
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 each small fennel, including fronds
½ c pickled fennel (see below)
½ c sheep’s milk yogurt
1 Tbs white miso
Preheat oven to 375F.
Remove greens from beets, then wash and pat dry. Line a baking sheet with foil. Rub beets with olive oil, season with salt, and place on baking sheet. Cover with more foil, then place in oven for 45 min, or until a fork slides easily into the beets. Remove from oven to cool.
While beets are cooling, whisk together yogurt and miso until smooth, then set aside.
Quarter fennel, remove the core, and slice very thinly. Cover, and set aside.
Using a dish cloth you don’t mind staining, peel the beets. Cut into smaller quarters or slices.
Spread yogurt sauce onto a plate. Lay beets over, then sliced raw and pickled fennel, and top with fennel fronds.
1 ea fennel bulb, medium size
⅓ c umeboshi vinegar (if unavailable, just use a full cup rice wine vinegar)
⅔ c rice wine vinegar
½ c water
⅓ c sugar
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp chinese mustard
Trim stems/fronds from the bulb, then cut fennel in half longways, from stems to root. Slice off any discolored or bruised parts, including the very base of the fennel. Cut again through the core, creating four quarters. Carefully trim the core away, starting from the pointed top.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small pot, and bring to a boil.
Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice fennel as thinly as possible. Transfer to a heat safe bowl or jar. Pour boiling pickling liquid over, and let sit until cool.
Serve on a cheeseboard, in a sandwich, or use in Beet and Pickled Fennel Salad.