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Beet, Fennel and Arugula Salad

To protect your cutting board from the red juice of the beets, cover it with waxed paper. To avoid staining your skin when peeling beets, wear plastic sandwich bags over your hands for protection.

Ingredients:

  • 4 beets, with 1 inch of stem intact
  • 2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 oz. Manchego cheese
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

Directions:

Roast the beets
Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Rub the beets with the 2 tsp. olive oil. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and bake until they are easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Let cool to the touch in the foil. Peel and slice the beets.

Make the dressing
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the 2 Tbs. olive oil.

Assemble the salad
Toss the arugula in the dressing until lightly coated. Divide among salad plates, shaking off any excess dressing. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese generously over the greens. Toss the fennel in the dressing and then arrange on the greens. Toss the beets and the shallot in the dressing and then mound in the center of each serving. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).