Roasted Beet, Fennel, Mache, and Gorgonzola Salad
- 1/2 pound medium red beets, washed, stems and leaves removed
- 1/2 pound medium golden beets, washed, stems and leaves removed
- 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds
- 1 bulb fennel, cored, halved and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
- 6 cups mache
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 8 French bread croutons, as accompaniment
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wrap the red beets in 1 large piece of aluminum foil, and the golden beets in another large piece of aluminum foil, closing the packets tightly. Roast in the oven until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, unwrap the beets and cool. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the beets in a small bowl.
Spread the sunflower seeds on a small baking sheet and toast lightly in the oven, about 3 minutes, shaking once during cooking to turn. Remove from the oven and cool.
Place the fennel and mache in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together the shallots, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and whisk in the oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Toss the beets with a small amount of the dressing, and the fennel and mache with the remaining dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the mache and fennel among 4 salad plates. Arrange the beets on top of the greens, and top with the crumbled cheese. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of seeds over each salad and serve with toasted French bread croutons.