beet goat cheese and pistachio salad

The colors of the red beet, ruby grapefruit, and purple blackberries are festive for Valentine’s Day. Plus, they each bring something different to the plate: the beets a soft, savory component, the grapefruit, an acidic, sour element, and the blackberries, a light, sweet flavor.

If you think the grapefruit is too sour on its own, you can toss the supremes in sugar, or even brulée the segements.

beet and fennel

The color of a roasted beet is insanely vibrant, which is cool except beets dye anything they come in contact with, even after you eat them. You can see why they use beet juice as a natural dye in random things like yogurt. If you aren’t diligent about washing your hands after peeling the beets, you’ll end of with oompa loompa hands, which aren’t so sexy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Freshly roasted beets, are completely different than pickled beets and pre-roasted beets you buy at the store, which I think have a strange aftertaste and smell.

beet and fennel salad

1-2 beets
1 ruby grapefruit
1/2 bulb of fennel
1/8 c goat cheese, crumbled
1/8 c pistachios, roasted and salted

1/2 c blackberries
1 tsp sugar
1 T grapefruit juice, strained
2 tsp honey
1/4 c olive oil

1. You’ll want to roast the beet well in advance. Wash and cut off the ends of the beet, but leave on the skin. Roast at 350˚ in a pan filled halfway up the side of the beet with water, a squeeze of grapefruit, a drizzle of olive oil, and some salt for about 1 hr, until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the liquid and let cool. With some paper towels, or a rag you don’t care about staining, rub the edges of the beet to remove the skin. Cut into pieces and chill.
2. Supreme 1/2 of the grapefruit by removing the skin and cutting in between the membrane. Technically, a “supreme” is the whole segment, but that’s too big for the salad. Save the other half for juicing (for the dressing and before with the beets).
3. Rinse the fennel thoroughly. Slice in half and remove the hard part of the core and the end of bulb. Slice as thin as you can and place the slices in a bowl of cool water until ready to plate.
4. To make the blackberry vinaigrette (there’s actually no vinegar in this vinaigrette, just acid from grapefruit juice), toss the blackberries with sugar and let rest in the fridge 30 minutes to macerate the berries (pull out the juices). Puree the berries and strain. You may need to help push the puree through the strainer with a rubber spatula. Whisk 2 T blackberry puree with the honey, and grapefruit juice, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Finish with salt.
5. To assemble the salad, toss the beets with some blackberry vinaigrette and plate. Top the beets with grapefruit supremes, fennel, goat cheese, and pistachios. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

grapefruit beet and fennel salad