Beet And Fennel Salad
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)
5 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp agave syrup or honey (to taste)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 6 beets
12 cups fresh salad greens or spinach, or as desired
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts
Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallots, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, agave syrup, salt and pepper, then slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. (You can also use a small food processor to make this dressing by putting all ingredients into the processor and blending until emulsifed.) This makes a generous cup of of salad dressing, which will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 3 days.
Heat the oven to 180°C. Toast the walnuts in a shallow baking pan until fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Place the unpeeled beets in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the beets can easily be pierced through with a fork, about 30 minutes. Set the beets aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and slice into one-fourth-inch thick rounds. Place the beets in a small bowl (separate bowls if using different colours to keep the colours from bleeding), and toss with vinaigrette to coat.
Place the greens on individual plates or on a large shallow serving bowl. Arrange the sliced beets on top of the salad greens. Sprinkle the fennel and red onion slices on top of the beets, then drizzle over the vinaigrette before serving.