I have a wildly delicious food spectrum this time of year.
My favourite thing to eat is a big, warm, bowl of comfort food from the slow cooker. My second favourite, on the other end of the spectrum, is a huge fall harvest salad.
Harvest salads are full of foods that are sweet and earthy, like beets, mushrooms, varieties of squash, pumpkin and root vegetables… If you are not a beet fan, I think that this salad could possibly change your mind. Roasting beets brings out their stunning colour and a natural sweetness that is hard to resist.
What I love about this recipe is the mix of earthy beetroot with sweet blackberries – a flavour pairing that is gorgeous, not just visually (look at those deep gemlike colours!) but also in the way they balance each other. There is a lot of room for texture pairing here as well. A crunchy seed or nut with the softness of crumbled cheese or the soft roasted beets tastes right on.
But really, the fusion of blackberry and the balsamic dressing is truly where the tastebud disco takes place. This dressing is so easy and we always keep a jar of it handy.
As I become more passionate about eating seasonally, we save money and it makes meal planning easier because I know what produce to expect at the store, and they’re usually on sale (one of the beautiful things about buying seasonal/local is that the item is usually in surplus!)
ROASTED BEET + BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC DRESSING
Serves 2 Main or 4 sides | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 50 minutes
For the salad:
- 6 cups of fresh greens (your pick, I had kale and spinach on hand)
- 2 shredded fennel (watch this YouTube clip)
- 1 1/2 cups roasted beets (approx 4 large)
- 1 cup blackberries
- 4 tablespoons crumbled cheese (if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, or toasted seeds
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoon honey
- Pinch of sea salt
1. Roast the beets: Preheat your oven to 425°F /220 °C. With a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the beets and chop them into small pieces, about 1/2 inch in size. In an oven safe dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast them in their packet for 45-60 minutes, or until soft. Allow the beets to cool.
2. While the beets are cooking prepare the fennel. I found this YouTube video most helpful because this was the first time I cooked fennel. Be sure you put the ‘furry stuff’, aka dill, to the side, you can garnish your salad with it.
3. The dressing is super easy. In a small jar, or other glass container, whisk all the ingredients together. Tighten lid + shake the dressing together.
4.The presentation and assembly of your salad- my favorite part. Divide the greens between two plates. Sprinkle each plate with half the beets, half the blueberries, half the fennel, half the cheese (if you are going for it), and top with half the crunchy seeds or nut. Drizzle the salad with the dressing or serve on the side.
5. Enjoy the tastebud disco!
As always, I hope you have a delicious week. Let me know if you try the salad and what your favourite fall recipes are! x