Beet, Fennel and Fig Salad with Cranberry-Sage Dressing

Beet, Fennel and Fig Salad with Cranberry-Sage Dressing

By Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda

Yield: 6 servings

Cranberry-Sage Dressing:

  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 fresh sage leaf, chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Beet, Fennel and Fig Salad:

  • 1 pound fresh beets
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup pecans
  • 1⁄2 pound baby arugula
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 6 fresh figs, cut into wedges

1. To make the dressing, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until they are softened and begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then transfer to a blender. Add the vinegar, rosemary, sage, water, maple syrup, salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and process until smooth.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and put them on a baking sheet. Put the fennel on a separate baking sheet, cut side up, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the beets and fennel in the oven and roast until fork-tender, about 30 minutes for the fennel and 50 to 60 minutes for the beets. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into thin slices, and cut the fennel into very thin slices.

4. Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 to 8 minutes.

5. Put the arugula in a large bowl, add the beets, fennel, pecans and optional pear and gently toss together. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the figs over the salad. Alternatively, divide the arugula evenly among salad plates, placing it to one side of the plate. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the pecans on top. Arrange the beets, fennel, figs and optional pear alongside the arugula and serve at once.

Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda (Ten Speed Press, © 2011). Photo credit: Rita Maas.

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