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ROASTED BEETS WITH CHARRED FENNEL AND ORANGE

Steak with Friends
by Rick Tramonto with Mary Goodbody

Roasting the beets on top of a bed of salt keeps them from burning and draws out their moisture, which makes them super easy to peel. This is one of my signature dishes at the steakhouse and I rarely cook beets any other way. Since this method is so easy and efficient, I suggest you try it. I like the beets with just about anything but particularly with fish.
Serves 4


INGREDIENTS

    • 3 cups kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
    • 8 red baby beets, trimmed but not peeled
    • 8 yellow baby beets, trimmed but not peeled
    • 8 candy-striped baby beets, trimmed but not peeled
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 fennel bulbs
    • 2 oranges


DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the salt over the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or sheet pan.

In a large bowl, combine the beets, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 table- spoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Lay 3 or 4 large sheets of aluminum foil on the work surface and divide the beets among them. Wrap the beets in the foil and set the packets on the salt.

Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, until the beets are tender. Let the beets cool in the foil for about 45 minutes, which will make them easier to peel.

Peel each beet and cut in half. (You can prepare the beets to this point and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Trim the fronds from the fennel bulbs, core them if needed, and cut the bulbs into 8 equal segments. Cut the oranges into 8 segments; do not peel. Place the fennel and orange segments in two separate bowls and toss with the remaining olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread the fennel in a shallow baking pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until beginning to soften and lightly browned. Add the orange segments, toss, and roast for about 5 minutes longer. Add the peeled beet halves. Continue to roast for about 10 minutes, or until the fennel is tender and the beets are very hot. Serve immediately.
 

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