Bright, juicy, and crisp, this salad was born from the transition of seasons at our local farmers' market. Combining winter citrus and beets with a bulb of early spring fennel, it's sweet and richy scented and doesn't require turning on an oven, which might be a plus if you're lucky enough to live in a place where it's already warm.
We're big fans of classic fennel and orange as well as raw beet salads, and this recipe combines both. The key to this salad is slicing and grating the fennel and beets very thin so they really pick up the citrus and olive oil dressing and have a crunchy yet delicate texture. We used juicy tangelos, but feel free to include any other oranges or mandarins.
Fennel, Beet, and Orange Salad
1 fennel bulb
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
4 small beets
3 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground white (or black) pepper
Wash the fennel bulb, trim the stalk and stem ends, and remove any bruised layers. Slice the bulb very thinly using a mandoline or chef's knife. In a small bowl, combine the sliced fennel with the chopped fronds, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Wash the beets, trim the root and stem ends, and peel. Grate the beets using a mandoline, hand grater, or food processor. In a small bowl, combine the grated beets with the orange zest, 1 tablespoon orange juice, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Set aside.
De-pith the oranges and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
To serve, arrange the orange slices on a plate and then top with the beets and fennel.
(Image: Emily Ho)