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This beautiful salad is a lively combination of flavors and texture. It’s impressive enough to serve as a first course when entertaining, but simple enough for a weeknight dinner.

Serves 4 – 6

1 bunch of medium beets (approximately 8 beets)*
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small fennel bulb (with fronds attached if possible – chop a few tablespoons of the fronds for garnish)
2 tangerines, peeled and sectioned
5 oz. arugula, washed
1/2 cup Raspberry Tangerine Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beets and trim the tops and root ends. Peel each beet with a vegetable peeler and cut in half. If the beets are large, cut into 2-inch chunks. Toss the beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Beets are done when tender. Set aside to cool.

Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise and cut out the inner core. Thinly slice into strips. Combine the beets, tangerine, and fennelĀ  in a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup vinaigrette. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. In a separate bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining quarter cup of vinaigrette and season with a bit of salt. To plate, divide the arugula among four plates, scatter the tangerine, beet, and fennel mixture over the top of the arugula and garnish with chopped fennel fronds.

*We used Chiogga beets for their lovely purple and white color, but standard red beets or golden beets will also work.

Raspberry Tangerine Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons We OliveĀ Red Raspberry Champagne Vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh tangerine juice from two one tangerine*
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup extra virgin olive oil**
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, juice, and honey until combined. Gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until thoroughly emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. The vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Substitute fresh orange juice if you don’t have tangerines on hand.

** We like a fruitier olive oil in this recipe to compliment the bitter, peppery arugula. Citrus infused olive oils also work nicely here.