1 cup barley, whole grain couscous, or quinoa
1 medium bulb fennel
1 bunch hearty greens, such as kale, chard, collard greens or beet greens
1 small beet
1 medium firm apple
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup nuts or seeds, such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts
1 medium lemon
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional Ingredients: 2 ounces cheese, such as blue, goat, or Cheddar cheese
Large saucepan with lid
Large mixing bowl
1. Cook grains following package directions. Transfer to a large bowl. Prepare rest of salad while you let grains cool completely.
2. Rinse fennel, greens, beet and apple.
3. Cut any long stalks and fronds off fennel. Quarter fennel and cut out core. Slice thinly.
4. Remove stems from greens. Stack leaves together, roll into a thick log, and slice thinly.
5. Peel and cut beet into 1/4-inch cubes. Cut apple into 1/4 inch cubes.
6. Peel and mince garlic.
7. If using, crumble cheese or cut into 1/4-inch cubes
8. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add nuts or seeds. Cook until fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
9. Rinse and cut lemon in half. In a small bowl, squeeze juice. Discard any seeds.
10. Add vinegar, minced garlic and mustard to lemon juice. Whisk with a fork to combine. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
11. When grains are cool, add fennel, greens, beet and apple. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and cheese, if using.
Vary the vegetables according to what you have on hand and whats in season. Carrots, cabbage, pears, celery and dried fruit work nicely. Add leftover cooked chicken, roast beef, or beans for added protein. Serve as a 4-person entre. Use any apples you like, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Fuji. If your fennel comes with the feathery fronds still on it, you can finely chop and add some to salad to give it an extra punch of flavor. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
More About Beets
How to Select
Choose beets with firm, smooth skins and non-wilted leaves if still attached. Smaller ones are more tender.
How to Store
Cut tops off 1 inch above root. Wrap leaves & stems in damp paper towel. Refrigerate tops & beet roots in separate plastic bags with some air holes. Use tops within a few days. Beet roots can last 1-2 month.
How to Prepare
Rinse tops. Scrub beets softly in cold water. Use tops as greens by chop in salad& stir- fries. Eat raw by grate beets in salads. Steam, microwave or boil until tender, slice & stir-fry.