Post ID: 711

Mediterranean Salad with Roasted Beets and Fennel in a creamy vinaigrette (revised 8/4/18)

When I first published this recipe, I posted it on various social media sites as well as Flipboard. (On the top right of this page is a link to my Flipboard magazine.) The other day Darryl was looking through Flipboard and showed me his phone with my recipe saying: “We should make this some time,” without realizing that it was my recipe. But really, he had a good idea —  remembering how good this was the first time around, I decided to make this for dinner again. It turned out to be a good thing that I printed out my own recipe, because I discovered a major omission: Please do add the cherry tomatoes and the sliced olives to the salad before serving. It would be a shame to not have the full taste experience. I also had to add an extra tablespoon of honey to the dressing to make it right. 

Summer is always a busy time, as we shed our winter coats, we feel renewed by the sweet, early summer air and the song of birds in the air, and we dust off the sandals and sun hats to enjoy nature’s bounty. Just as winter is the time for soups, summer is the time for salads. Last month’s post featured my tried and true Refreshing Summer Cucumber Salad that I have been enjoying since childhood; this month I have a brand new recipe that came out so amazingly tasty that it will become another staple: Juicy Roasted Beets and Fennel on top of a bed of spinach and arugula topped with a tangy creamy citrus vinaigrette and feta cheese.    

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

How is this sustainable ?

Ideally, you would grow most of your own ingredients — spinach, arugula, beets, and tomatoes can all be grown in your own garden, or even on a balcony or in a container garden. Our season in Vermont is not quite far enough along to allow for all the ingredients to have been home grown, but I do use organic vegetables as well as other ingredients. 


Roasted Beets
4 medium red beets
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Fennel
2 medium fennel bulbs (if large, use 1)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup arugula
1 cup spinach
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup mediterranean feta
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons yoghurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme


Roast the Beets
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. 
  2. Peel beets and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
  3. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs.
  4. Toss beets with the thyme leaves, olive oil, water, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover baking dish with foil and roast for about 40 minutes, or until tender.
  6. Let cool slightly.

Roast the Fennel

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. 
  2. Wash fennel and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
  3. Toss fennel with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove aluminum foil and roast for another 15 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
  6. Let cool slightly.
Make the Dressing
  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk till you have a creamy liquid consistency. (Or, put all ingredients into a mason jar, close the lid tightly and shake until desired consistency is achieved.)
Assemble the Salad
  1. Wash spinach and arugula. 
  2. Mix and arrange spinach and arugula in a large bowl.
  3. Add cherry or grape tomatoes and sliced olives.
  4. Top with roasted beets and fennel.
  5. Crumble feta cheese on top (plain feta will work just fine if you don’t have mediterranean.)
  6. Top with dressing and serve.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
 Variations on this could include pistachios, almonds, pine nuts, bacon, other fresh herbs, all golden or golden and red beets. Feel free to post your own suggestions or modifications in the comments.
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4 thoughts on “”

  • having this amazing salad tonight, although -as per usual- with some variations. I have added Tofurky Chicken substitute since I didn’t have fennel and give the salad thus a heartier note. Our Mesclun and Arugula salads are in full swing and a great accompaniment to the beets. VT made Feta on top and voila! Dinner is ready.
    Thank you, Sigrun.


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    • Wonderful! Thank you Renate.

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  • This is my first year of growing beets and your recipe makes me super excited for harvest. I don’t use much fennel, due to my dislike for licorash flavor, Does roasting it change the flavor or is there another item you might recommend in lieu of fennel? Otherwise this recipe and the dressing sound yummy and I can’t wait to try it. Appreciate your thoughts and help.

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    • Goodness Adonica, I have been so busy that I haven’t done anything on the blog for too long. Coincidence that I am making this very salad tonight? I think not. I agree fennel has a distinctive flavor, it is somewhat mellowed by roasting it, but of course doesn’t eliminate the licorice flavor. In that case you might want to try it with some Bok Choy, I think that would stand up nicely against the beets, or you could go with celery (which I don’t like.) Hope to see you soon!

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