The elements of this Fennel and Golden Beet Salad really benefit from the use of a mandoline slicer to achieve very thin, even slices. Both the fennel bulb and beet are sliced this way (on the thinnest setting), but they are raw. A thicker slice would do, but the salad would be much crunchier.
This is a salad to be served in small portions, more as an elegant palate cleanser than a vegetable side dish. It combines the delicious pairing of fennel with citrus, but the gold beets add a whole new layer of mild flavour and colour. The dish is served very cold, so it is incredibly refreshing for a summer meal.
1 fennel bulb (we used Orion)
1 golden beet, peeled (we used Touchstone Gold)
1 navel orange
a pinch of salt
1-2 mint leaves
Chop off the top and root end of the fennel bulb, and remove enough tough outer leaves so you can work with an apple-sized piece. With the mandoline set to its thinnest slice, carefully process the fennel bulb, and move the slices to a bowl. Now process the beet in the same way and add the slices to the fennel.
Peel and halve the orange, and slice individual sections away from the pulp. Add the juice of the other half of the orange to the fennel and beet and toss it well. Use your fingers to pull apart any beet slices that might be stuck together. Now add a pinch of salt and toss well. Set this aside to chill and for the flavours to combine.
To serve, divide the fennel and beet mix into even portions in small serving bowls. Lay the peeled orange sections over the top and then sprinkle with sliced almonds. For the garnish, create a chiffonade of the mint leaves by folding them several times and making fine cuts across each leaf. Once the salads are made, chill them until just before serving.