Roasted Beets, Pickled Fennel, Bibb Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad

I always welcome another way to have a beet salad.  I am alone in my love for beets in my family, but it does not stop me from bringing them to the table from time to time if not for my own enjoyment, to see if any minds might be changed.  I had a small fennel bulb left from Friday night's dinner, so decided to see how this combo might taste.

3 red beets
1 head bibb lettuce
1 small fennel bulb
fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1 1/2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp honey
candied pecans

Wash and trim beets.  Wrap in foil and roast in the oven at 400f for about an hour to 75 minutes, until beets are tender.  Let cool, remove skin and cut to bite sized pieces.  You can do this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use, as I did.

Wash and trim fennel bulb.  Slice lengthwise once and then thinly slice lengthwise the both halves.  In a jar, combine 1/2 cup hot water, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp kosher salt.  Place fennel into the liquid, cover and refrigerate.  These are best if you let them sit for a few days and will keep for up to a month.   

Remove outer leaves from bibb lettuce.  Wash, dry and tear lettuce into large pieces.
Whisk together grape seed oil, vinegar and honey.  Use just enough to lightly dress the lettuce.  Toss together.

To serve, place bibb lettuce on the plate, top with beets, fennel and goat cheese.  Sprinkle with some candied pecan pieces and freshly ground black pepper.  I may have a beet convert in the house.


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