It’s pouring ice cold rain outside, the oven sizzling hot. I am working on something over by the sofa, wrapped in a blanket, wishing it were summer. Luca is close enough I feel his thick fur with the tips of my toes. It finally feels like winter.
Big, fat beets are giving into the heat, slowly cooking away until their flesh becomes tender and sweet. Over by the sink, fennel is pickling in apple cider vinegar. Today, there is no rush to get dinner on the table. I am letting things take all the time they need, making sure each minute tastes well spent.
My fingernails turn bright magenta as I peel the skin off each beet. I steal a few bites before folding the rest into a bowl of freshly sliced, zippy radicchio.
Beets have to be the earthiness of all winter vegetables, and paradoxically also the sweetest.
This feels good. Different from the ins and outs of every day. If I could I would make these instants last forever. Once ready, I take another bite, this time it is bright and tangy, a little bit sweet and a little bit bitter.
Radicchio & Roasted Beet Salad
This gorgeous beet and radicchio salad is great for entertaining during the Holidays. Double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd effortlessly.
Cook time 75 minutes
- 4-6 small to medium beets
- 1 fennel bulb, plus fronds to garnish
- 3 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, divided
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 whole radicchio
- 1 big handful sunflower sprouts
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios
- juice ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon za’atar, divided
- sea or kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Individually wrap clean beets in aluminum foil. Roast for 60 minutes.
- As the beets roast, prepare fennel, radicchio, and dressing.
- Using either a mandolin or a very sharp knife, cut fennel into thin slices. Aim for 1/8” to 1/16” thickness.
- Place into a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Toss until evenly incorporated. Then let marinate in dressing for at least 15 minutes.
- Cut radicchio in half. Remove core, then cut into quarters. Cut each quarter into thin ribbons.
- Whisk together juice of half a lemon, za’atar, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Whisk until well incorporated.
- Once beets are ready, remove from the oven. Once cool, peel skin off. Cut into quarters.
- In a large bowl, mix radicchio, cooked beets, and fennel. Add a generous pinch of salt, then toss in dressing until well incorporated.
- Add chopped shelled pistachios, sunflower sprouts, and a handful of fennel fronds.
- You should serve immediately, but it holds well at room temperature and for up to a day.