A vibrant, robust salad like this is perfect for brightening gray midwinter days. Once the beets are cooked, it comes together fast. The beet-and-fennel marinade creates the dressing, and everything else is tossed together right before serving. If you want to plan ahead, you can cook the beets and marinate them with the fennel a day in advance. Since all the ingredients in this salad are assertive, I suggest serving it as a starter followed by a warming soup or stew or even a simple pasta. Pecorino or another hard, nutty cheese can be used in place of the aged goat cheese.
￼5 baby red beets (10 ounces)
1 medium fennel bulb, stems and tough outer layer removed,
cored, and shaved (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar Vi teaspoon sea salt
2 medium blood oranges, segments removed
1 small to medium head radicchio (6 ounces), leaves torn into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces aged goat cheese, rind removed, shaved lA cup toasted hazelnuts (page 78), crushed
Place beets in a small pot, cover with filtered water, and bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Test them by inserting a toothpick or tip of a sharp knife into the beets; it should glide in easily. Drain beets and slip off their skins under cold running water. Halve and thinly slice beets. Place in a salad bowl; add shaved fennel, apple cider vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, or refrigerate up to one day to marinate. Add blood orange segments and radicchio to beets and fennel; toss to combine. Add olive oil, shaved cheese, and hazelnuts; toss gently again. Taste for seasoning, and serve immediately.