Recipe: Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad with Balsamic Glaze

June 3, 2012 · 20 comments

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I’ve often wondered what fennel tastes like, having seen it in the market. I finally decided to try it when I was able to get organic fennel. Fennel is called finocchio in Italian, and finule in Old English. In Greek mythology, Prometheus used the stalk of a fennel plant to steal fire from the gods.  Whatever it’s magical history — it tastes like anise (licorice) and gives an interesting flavor and crunch to a dish.

Fennel has a history of healing

Fennel is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century. The charm is intended for treatment of poison (snakebite) and infection through the preparation of nine herbs made into a paste. Knowing what we know about the power of herbs to heal, it probably worked pretty well back then.

Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel is high in vitaimn C, fiber,folate and potassium. It is a good anti-oxidant.

Anti-cancer properties

Interestingly, the volatile oil that gives it the distinctive flavor, anethole, has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. The anethole in fennel prevents activation of a potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation-triggering molecule called NF-kappaB. Anethole has also been shown to be able to protect the liver of experimental animals from toxic chemical injury.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad with Balsamic Glaze



  • 1 large casserole dishes (9 x 13)


  1. Clean and cut the ends off the beets and then peel the skin off
  2. Chop them into 1/2″ size chunks and place in a large casserole dish
  3. Clean the fennel by cutting off the stalks and flowering tops and save for garnish or soup
  4. Slice the fennel into similar size chunks
  5. Slice the onion into small pieces
  6. Mix all the vegetables together in the dish
  7. Generously pour balsamic vinegar over the entire dish
  8. Pour the olive oil over the entire dish (not as much as the vinegar)
  9. Season with sea salt and with your hands mix the balsamic and oil over all the vegetables
  10. Roast at 400 degrees F or until a knife goes through the beets easily (usually 50 – 60 minutes)
  11. Every 10 – 15 minutes or so, remove the pan from the oven and turn the vegetables in the pan so they cook evenly
  12. May be served warm or cold
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Easy

This post is shared at: Sugar Free Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Summer Salad Sunday, Monday Mania, Mouthwatering Monday, Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday 33, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, WHole Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, WHoles Foods Wednesday, Healthy 2Day, Mommy Club, Tastastic, Creative Juice Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Foodie Friday, Country Homemaker Hop, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, LHITS, Foodie Friday, Seasonal Celebration, Paleo AIP Roundtable


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm

wow, what a seriously gorgeous salad! those colors are so rich and beautiful! thanks for sharing! it sounds delicious!


2 Judy@Savoring Today June 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

Beets and fennel would be a wonderful combination. We tried fennel for the first time a couple of years ago and now it is a favorite in stir-frys, baked with fish, sauteed with spinach and garlic … the flavor and texture mixes well with so many dishes.


3 France @ Beyond The Peel June 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm

The title alone makes my mouth water. Fennel and beets sounds so wonderful. I even happen to have all the ingredients in my firdge. I think hubby will be happy to have this for dinner.


4 Amber June 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Gorgeous! All around, my favorite ingredients prepared my favorite way.


5 Gabriella June 5, 2012 at 1:30 am

I rarely eat fennel, but this salad looks delicious. I just might have to make it this week!


6 Amy B. June 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

YUM!! Just started getting into fennel, and I LOVE beets, so this is going to be an awesome recipe to try.

Question: I watch a ton of cooking shows, and I’ve only ever seen people use the bulb. In fact, because of that, I didn’t know whether the stalks and leaves were even edible until I read above that they are. (Woohoo! Seemed like an awful waste to throw them all out.) How would you suggest using them? Could I eat the stalks raw, like celery? (Otherwise, I guess I could just stir fry them with other veg, or maybe even add to this recipe and roast them?)


7 Jill June 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Hi Amy,
The flowery parts can be used as any herb. I think the stalks are used in soups but I suppose you could try to eat them to see how they are.


8 Sam June 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Yum! Made it last night, but doubled the fennel. Thanks for the recipe.


9 Debbie @ Easy Natural Food June 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm

This sounds like a delicious combination, especially with the balsamic vinegar. I love roasted beets! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon!


10 Diane Balch June 8, 2012 at 10:21 am

This looks fantastic. Do you use the balsamic vinegar that is syrupy? I would love if you shared this on my foodie friday party today.


11 Jill June 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hi Diane,
Yes, the aged vinegar is like a syrup.


12 Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy June 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

This sounds delicious, and fascinating history about the fennel. Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday and come back next week to see if you were featured!


13 Judy@Savoring Today June 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop — this dish looks amazing, fresh beets are in season right now! :)


14 April @ The 21st Century Housewife June 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

This is such a delicious and wholesome recipe. I adore roasted beets, and the addition of fennel is wonderful. I was so interested to read more about the history of fennel and to find out how nutritious it is too!


15 Maria June 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

This sounds delicious! I absolutely love roasted beets, and often make them and add them to salads. I love the addition of the fennel though, that sounds wonderful!


16 Eileen @ Phoenix Helix November 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm

This recipe looks delicious AND it fits the paleo autoimmune protocol. Thank you! I’ve been a fan of Fat Tuesday for a long time now, and would like to invite you to a new blog carnival I just started: The Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable. I’m trying to expand resources for the AIP community, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe. Here’s the link:


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