Roasted Fennel & Beet Salad
We made it! It’s officially autumn which means it’s time to crank up the oven and spend some quality time in a toasty warm kitchen.
Tumbleweed Farm has finally gotten the memo that summer is officially over and we are busy harvesting a lot of root veggies and cooler weather crops. We’ve even had a little rain! I love this change of pace and I wanted to celebrate the first day of autumn with my favorite root vegetable. The mighty beet!
Since the days have grown shorter we have been able to sleep in later and call it a day from the fields quite a bit earlier. It’s been amazing! We’re enjoying relaxing a bit and hanging out in the kitchen with a bottle of wine, good food and lovely friends.
This salad is a combination of a few of my favorite things. Fennel and beets are a lovely pair and the addition of chewy wheat berries, a handful of mizuna (you can sub with arugula) and a tangy dressing make this the perfect weeknight dinner.
If you aren’t a huge fan of fennel you can leave it out and add a sliced yellow onion in its place. Taylor has mixed feelings about fennel-he doesn’t like it raw but tolerates it roasted. This salad however, had him saying “I think I may like fennel now”. Win!
If the weather has cooled down a bit in your area I encourage you to slip into your slippers, pour a glass of your favorite house red, invite a few friends over and dine on this simple and delicious meal. Bon appétit.
Roasted Fennel & Beet Wheat Berry Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Serves: 4
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 1-2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil (or another neutral oil)
- 2 medium-sized beets, scrubbed and cut into small 1/4 inch chunks
- 3 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (save a few fronds for garnish)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 generous handfuls of fresh mizuna (or arugula)
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
- 1/2 cup crumbled organic feta cheese (optional)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon dijon style mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together until well combined. Taste test and adjust as necessary.
- Combine 1 cup wheat berries with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until wheat berries are tender. This can take anywhere from 35-45 minutes. Start checking berries after 35 minutes. They should be chewy but not tough. Drain any excess water if there is any.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sliced fennel and beets together in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven until beets are fork tender and fennel has browned up a bit. About 15-20 minutes. Toss veggies halfway through cooking.
- In a large bowl toss the roasted veggies, wheat berries and mizuna until well combined-the mizuna will wilt down a bit with the hot veggies. Drizzle with the dressing (you may have extra dressing). Divide among 4 plates and top with toasted almonds, feta cheese and fennel fronds. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide. *Always use your best judgment and make adjustments according to your taste preference and serving sizes. *Have fun in the kitchen and don't be afraid to try something new. * The dressing will last 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.