My Recipe Box

Beet Salad with Fennel, Frisée & Feta

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Serves four.

I like the slightly bitter edge frisée gives to the salad, but I use it as much for looks as flavor, since it mounds so well and looks so festive. Other greens like arugula or a mesclun mix would taste good, too.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head frisée (about 5 oz.), trimmed, leaves torn into bite size pieces (about 3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 small fennel bulb (about 3/4 lb.)
  • 8-oz. package steamed and peeled red beets (such as Melissa's or Trader Joe's brand), trimmed if necessary, and diced small (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced chives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta (about 4 oz.)
  • Fleur de sel (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put the frisée in a medium bowl. Trim, quarter, and core the fennel bulb. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, shave the fennel lengthwise until you have about 1 cup (you may not need the whole bulb). Add the fennel to the frisée and toss with just enough of the vinaigrette to moisten the leaves.

Toss the beets and chives with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to coat. Divide about half of the diced beets among four large salad plates. Divide the frisée among the plates, mounding it over the beets. Sprinkle the remaining beets and the feta on top of the frisée. Finish each plate with a tiny pinch of fleur de sel if you like, and serve.

Photo: Scott Phillips

We didn't really like this salad very much. I think goat cheese would have been a better choice over feta. I was sad to have used up my gorgeous beets. The one thing that was good was the mix of fennel and frisee. The lemon vinaigrette doesn't do much for the mix. There are better beet salads in Fine Cooking's database.

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