Craving the carbs in root veggies? Me too! I love sautéing or roasting veggies, like fennel and beet, and drowning them in vinaigrettes. Makes for a healthy, delicious dish! And is the secret to veggies your family will ask for again and again.
Although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beet roots a few times a week (and their greens in unlimited quantities). I love beets because they help to cleanse the liver. The betalin pigments in beets support your liver’s Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.
Beets also fight inflammation, lower blood pressure, have anti-cancer properties and countless other benefits. Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, folate, minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas).
Fennel is an herb with a mild but distinctive licorice flavor and fragrance, but becomes quite sweet when sautéed or roasted. Fennel is famous for facilitating digestion. The essential oils in fennel stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Vitamin C is the most abundant vitamin in fennel, which as you likely know strengthens immunity by zapping free radicals that cause damage and inflammation in the body. Other prominent vitamins and minerals in fennel include potassium, an electrolyte that fights high blood pressure, and folate, which helps convert potentially dangerous molecules called homocysteine into a benign form.
Serves 4 | Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30-40 min
- 6 medium beets (red are more nutritious)
- 3 bulbs fennel
- 2 cloves garlic or 1 shallot
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grass fed butter
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Garnish with fennel fronds
- 1 teapsoon organic whole grain Dijon mustard (my favorite is Delouis fils organic French Dijon)
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cut up your fennel into bit size wedges. Mince your garlic or shallots. Be sure to let it sit for 10 minutes after mincing to maximize nutrient release in the garlic.
First, you need to boil your beets to tenderize them. I find it just as easy to fill a small sauce pan with water and add the beets. Make sure the water covers the beets. Cover and cook on medium low heat for approximately 20 minutes until tender but still firm. Remember, these will be finished in a saute pan, so make sure they are tender, but a bit underdone – you don’t want them falling apart.
Once the beets are done, remove from the pan and let cool until you can handle them. The peel will slide right off. Use gloves or your hands will turn red. Then cut the beets in bite size wedges.
In a saute pan, add the olive oil and butter and bring to medium high heat. Add the beets and fennel and saute until carmelized, about 5-10 minutes until fork tender. That is why you didn’t cook the beets all the way in the water. You don’t want them falling apart. The last minute add in the vinaigrette (they don’t need to mixed prior to adding them to the dish) and heat until warm.
Garnish with a fennel fronds and serve.