I’ve never said no to a beet. Others might bemoan their steady appearance over the long months as winter stretches into spring, but I never tire of their sweet, earthy flavor and gorgeous garnet hue.
Beet & Avocado Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Fennel
1 bunch of beets, tops cut off and saved for another purpose
1 bulb fennel
4-6 oz. fresh mozzarella
1 meyer lemon
coarse sea salt (my favorite is Malson)
best-quality balsamic vinegar
small handful chervil, leaves picked
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Place beets in small roasting pan, add 1″ of water and cover tightly with foil. Roast until just tender. Meanwhile, cut tops off fennel, cut in half lengthwise, cut out core and cut into paper thin slivers. Place in a small bowl, squeeze half of Meyer lemon over, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside. Cut mozzarella into thin slices and set aside. Halve and pit avocado. Cut into slices, place in a bowl and squeeze the other half of the lemon over. When beets are done and cool enough to handle, slip skins off and cut into wedges. On a serving tray, make alternating layers of beet, avocado, fennel, and mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and scatter chervil sprigs on top.
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