Sweet roasted beets, crunchy fennel, and kale get tossed in a delicious creamy rosemary-infused dijon dressing for a salad that packs in lots of flavor and texture. To make a salad actually satisfying and balanced, you have to load it up with lots of toppings, of course! Don’t skimp on the salty cheese, creamy avocado, and toasty crunchy nuts!
Beets! Are a really great source of folic acid, fiber, and potassium. The deep purple color comes from betacyanin, which, in combination with the fiber content, has shown to be protective against colon cancer.
Beets also contain nitrates that our bodies convert to nitric oxide, which has a blood dilating effect. This is why runners and endurance athletes love beets – they may increase our endurance!
- 3 medium beets, peeled, cut into small ½-inch cubes (12-16 oz, about 4-5 cups)*
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 cups blended kale (about 1 bunch, stems removed)**
- 1 fennel bulb, halved, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ½ cup toasted pecans (or walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and/or pumpkin seeds)
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- *The smaller you cut your beets, the crispier they will be and the quicker they will cook. I like to run my knife through my already cubed up beets to get smaller pieces.
- **Use a blender to finely chop your kale before making your dressing (use a tamper tool to help it blend until finely chopped). It makes the texture much more enjoyable to eat! Alternatively, you can chop very finely by hand.
- Add protein! ~ This salad would pair great with any cooked protein on top or on the side (see substitutions section for ideas).
- Preheat the oven to 450F or 425F convection. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To the baking sheet, add the beets, oil, and salt. Use your hands to toss until well coated. Spread into an evenly distributed layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the beets are cooked and crisped on the edges
- (See “optional” note below). In a high-speed blender, add all of the dressing ingredients and blend on high until smooth.
- In a large bowl, add the kale, fennel, beets, and ⅔ of the dressing. Toss to coat. Serve drizzled with remaining dressing and top with cheese, avocado, and nuts.
- Optional: to infuse more rosemary flavor into the dressing, add the olive oil and rosemary to a small pot or skillet over low heat and let it cook for 5 minutes (turn off the heat once the rosemary starts sizzling). Make sure it does not get too hot and start to smoke. Let cool for a bit, then add to the blender.
Items you can prep ahead (optional)
- Peel and cut 3 medium beets into small ½-inch cubes (4-5 cups)
- Roast the beets
- Blend 4 cups worth of kale to finely chop
- Halve/thinly sliced 1 fennel bulb (about 2 cups)
- Toast ½ cup pecans (or walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and/or pumpkin seeds
- Make the dressing
- To make vegan, skip the cheese and use maple syrup in place of honey. Sub the yogurt with a vegan yogurt alternative or skip the yogurt and increase the oil and the apple cider vinegar to ⅓ cup and add a tablespoon of tahini to make it creamy.
- If you don’t like beets, roast an equal amount (4-5 cups) of a different vegetable.
- Fennel can be substituted with thinly sliced celery or grated carrot.
- Use any salad green in place of kale. Kale is great because it keeps well in the fridge/as leftovers, but you could use any salad green as long as you only dress what you will eat in that sitting.
- To add protein, top with any cooked protein (like a scoop of lentils, beans, leftover chicken, steak, or sausage, etc…Make the chicken and potatoes from this recipe or any other protein to serve alongside.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge:
- Salad: up to 5 days
- Dressing: up to 5 days
Leftovers + Repurposing:
- This salad should be eaten at room temp or just warm. Pop it in the microwave for 10-30 seconds to warm it up a bit/take the chill off. Top with dressing and toppings.
- Make the chicken and potatoes from this recipe to serve alongside.