Spring Salad with Beet, Fennel and Asparagus
- 3 medium beets
- 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tsp capers rinsed
- 6 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves packed
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 lb asparagus
- 1/2 medium bulb fennel
- Remove the greens from the beets (if they are present), save them as they can be used with the salad. Place the beets in a medium sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes or until they are tender.
- While beets are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Place vinegar, garlic, capers and oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with black pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Remove beets from the hot water and place in a bowl of cold water until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and cut into wedges. Place the beets in a bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette.
- Blanche the Asparagus. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slice the asparagus into 2 inch pieces, removing any tough ends. Place the 2 inch asparagus pieces into the boiling water and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until they are crisp tender. Drain the asparagus and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, transfer to a medium bowl.
- Prepare the Fennel. Slice the bulb lengthwise very thin and add to the asparagus. If you are using golden beets you can combine the beets, asparagus and fennel and toss with remaining dressing. If the beets are red you might want to keep them separate until the last minute to prevent turning everything red.
- If you have abundant beet greens you can wash them and sauté them in a pan until just wilted. To serve the salad, arrange some of the wilted beet greens on each plate and top with some of the asparagus fennel mixture as well as some beets.
- If you are without beet greens you can serve beets, fennel and asparagus over a bed of mixed salad greens like arugula, mesclun, frisee and or red leaf lettuce. Toss to mix. Enjoy!