It seems appropriate to be preparing a beet and citrus dish this week as we are approaching the cooler months, and summer has officially come to an end. Preferring a colder climate, beets thrives in fall and winter, and depending on which you choose, there is usually some variety of citrus that is in season. We find that the combination of the earthy beet and the brightness of citrus makes for a perfect summer ending. Here I chose smaller baby beets for their lighter flavor profile. It is Austin after all, and fall still sure feels a lot like summer.
Beet, Citrus, and Fennel Salad:
- 2 small bunches of baby beets (about 8) w/ greens attached
- 1/2 fennel bulb
- 1/2 grapefruit
- 1 navel orange
- 1 clove of garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Chop of beet greens and reserve. Rinse beets and with skin on, brush a layer of olive oil on all bulbs.
- Wrap all the beets in aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes till soft enough to pierce with a fork.
- Meanwhile slice the orange in half lengthwise. Cut one half of the orange in slices across the membrane. Juice the other half and save for dressing.
- Slice the grapefruit across the membrane also and place in the same bowl as orange slices
- Slice the fennel bulb in thin slivers or use a vegetable peeler and combine with grapefruit and oranges
- Braise the beet greens in hot water for a couple minutes till wilted.
- Heat garlic and olive oil on medium low heat and sautee the wilted greens in the oil.
- When beets are done, allow to cool. Then rub the skin off with a paper towel. Cut in half lengthwise.
- Toss all ingredients together with orange juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fennel.