Pickled Beet and Fennel Salad

This salad is quite light tasting for fall, however seasonal. This time of year is all about squash and pumpkin, and certainly have enough of those to keep me going for months but that’s not the focus of this post. It’s about what to do with all those beets! I love beets. And if you’re like me, I bought up all the beets I could carry home from the UBC Farm an now I’m wondering what to do with the ten pounds of beets in my fridge…
They’re a bit of a pain to prepare but I started eating them cooked, with their skins on and I quite like them still – which avoids most of the fuss. Some people find the skins too bitter. I also recently attended a chef demo at the UBC Farm harvest market (last one of the year! So sad 😦 ) where Jane Cornborough from L’Abbatoir did a lovely demo of this salad, as well as the most beautiful pumpkin soup I’ve ever tasted. More on that coming up soon. But she also gave us the simplest method of pickling beets, which is apparently a traditional Scandinavian recipe.

1 part sugar, 2 parts vinegar, 3 parts water. Peel raw beets, slice thin. Boil pickling mixture until dissolved. Add beets and let marinate until cool. Done!
You can choose any vinegar you like – she prefers white wine, I used apple cider and it was also tasty. She had the beets marinating overnight and I used cooked beets that were already in my fridge so I only left them for about half an hour. I’m not sure what the fastest optimal length is but overnight is probably a good way to go. My plan is to just keep a jar in my fridge.

I like that the beets are so delightfully easy to prepare and raw! Plus, I hadn’t ever used the fennel fronds before and they provide a lovely visual variation and texture to this otherwise chunky salad. I also added some pretty purple haze carrots but I can imagine adding turnips or jicama or any other raw root vegetable.

Dressing was a bit of the pickling juice and olive oil, plus salt and pepper. I might’ve added a bit of lemon juice if I’d had it.

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