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Adapted from a recipe by Andrew Carmellini. This is a festive salad that can be also be served over pasta. I simplified the recipe and changed some of the ingredients to make a milder tasting salad. The beets can be roasted and refrigerated for up to 3 days prior to serving. Use gloves during beet preparation to avoid staining your hands. Great for gatherings, The salad components can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance and combined before serving, and the salad keeps well at the table for buffet.
- Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut the tops off the beets and reserve for another use or discard. Rinse the beets and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place the beets on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour. Allow to cool and refrigerate in the foil for up to 3 days before use.
- Remove beets from the foil, cut off the stems and tail and slide off the peel. Cut the beets into a rough julienne = 1/8" x 1 1/2".
- Mince the garlic and rough chop the rosemary. Finely slice the onion. Toss the beets in a bowl with the onion, 1/2 of the garlic, the rosemary, the balsamic vinegar and 1 tbs olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and put aside.
- Remove the top from the fennel bulb and put aside for another use or discard. Slice the bulb finely and place in a bowl with ice water for a moment to crisp then drain and spin in a salad spinner to dry.
- Place the fennel in a bowl and zest the lemon over the top. Add the juice of 1/2 the lemon and 1 tbs olive oil and toss together. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice the olives, Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet for 2 - 3 minutes until lightly browned.
- To serve, toss the beets lightly with the fennel. Top with the olives and pine nuts, and using a vegetable peeler, shave the Romano Cheese over the top and drizzle with remaining Olive Oil and enjoy!