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Nutrition Month Recipe – Generous Helpings Chef

To help celebrate Nutrition Month, we asked Molly Martin, Culinary Director at beloved Salt & Vine restaurant in Nashville, to share one of her favorite healthy recipes. Molly will be a featured chef at our Generous Helpings event on May 11, 2017. We hope you will give this a try and then join us at Generous Helpings for even more great eats from some of Nashville’s favorite restaurants.

Tickets for Generous Helpings are on sale now.

Roasted Beet, Strawberry + Fennel Salad w. Orange Sherry Vinaigrette
(vegan, gluten and grain free, Whole 30 compliant without the maple syrup)

Molly Martin, Culinary Director, Salt & Vine.
Photo: Nashville Scene

3 medium golden beets
3 medium chioggia (also called “candystripe”) beets
2 medium red beets
1 bulb fennel
1 pint strawberries
8-10 large basil leaves
Oil and salt for roasting

Dressing (yields about 2 cups):
1 navel orange, juiced & zested
½ lemon, juiced & zested
1 ½ tsp creamy Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp garlic, minced
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
1 cup high quality olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub beets well to remove any dirt and cut off greens if attached (reserve for use in a salad or sauté later!). Pat dry with towel and place in a roasting pan (Note: keeping the red beets separate from the others in the pan will prevent color bleeding). Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over beets and toss to coat evenly. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil – containing the steam helps them to cook! Roast for approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour, testing with a paring knife until it easily pierces to the center – you want them to be cooked through but not mushy. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to be handled, but still warm.
  3. While beets are cooking, prepare a bowl of ice water. Remove the stalk/fronds from the fennel, and reserve the most delicate fronds at the top for garnish. Cut the root base from the bulb, slice in half and remove the core. Slice the fennel as thinly as you can (a mandoline slicer is ideal if you have it), and put in ice bath until ready to plate.
  4. Cut tops off of strawberries and slice lengthwise. Stack basil leaves on top of one another, then roll tightly into a cigar shape; with a very sharp knife or scissors, slice thinly or cut into ‘chiffonade.’ Set both aside.
  5. To make dressing, add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor or a jar with a tight fitting lid. Process or shake vigorously until well incorporated and smooth. Pour oil in a slow stream while processor is running, or add to jar and shake well until emulsified. Adjust seasoning as desired.
  6. When the beets have cooled, using a clean towel or paper towels, gently rub the skin off until completely peeled. Cut top and root from beets, and slice into quarters lengthwise (Tip: clean and cut light colored beets first to prevent color bleed; gloves would also come in handy here to keep from dying your fingers red!). Slice into roughly ¼” thick slices, keeping all colors in separate bowls until ready to plate.
  7. Drizzle orange dressing over beets (preferably while still somewhat warm) and toss to coat. Let them marinate in the dressing for at least 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  8. When ready to serve, you can layer the salad in individual plates/bowls, or for more visual impact, on a large platter. Layer the salad in the following order, allowing each one to show through: red beets; gold beets; Chioggia beets; strawberries; shaved fennel; basil chiffonade. Drizzle a bit more dressing or high quality olive oil over the top as desired. Garnish platter or plates w. clean, picked fennel fronds.

Recipe Tips:

  • Beets and dressing can be prepared/marinated the day before serving, just allow to come back to room temperature and adjust for seasoning before plating.
  • To make it a meal: this salad is great over arugula or baby kale greens, or cous cous or quinoa tossed in the same dressing. It also pairs perfectly with grilled salmon.
  • Delicious additions or substitutions: this base works beautifully with any seasonal fruit (blackberries, plums, grapefruit, blood orange, etc.) or topped with toasted nuts for extra crunch and protein (pistachios and hazelnuts work especially well).

Thank you for celebrating Nutrition Month with us!

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