Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler, but not cold, temps, being able to take the kids outside to play and, of course, all the amazing produce. I really do love food! It is always my goal to try new foods and do this regularly. As more variety comes into grocery stores and farmers markets, I’m trying new foods much more frequently.
While fennel isn’t new to stores and I have made it in the past, it’s been at least 4 years and I couldn’t really remember what it tasted like. So I grabbed one and brought it home. Beets are a favorite of mine. I love to boil and chop them to keep on hand to eat plain or add to other dishes. Even though it is cooling off, I still love salads. To keep them from being too cooling in the winter, I like to make what I call “hot salads.” I top a bed of greens with warm vegetables and oftentimes meat.
Fennel is great to include in your kitchen because it is low in calories with only 27 per cup. It’s rich in flavor and contains vitamin C, potassium, folate, and calcium.
Beets are an amazing root vegetable. Their dark colors mean they are full of powerful antioxidants. They have been shown to lessen cancer tumor growth and are being studied for their anticancer, tumor reducing capabilities. 1 cup has only 75 calories and are an excellent source of folate, manganese, potassium, iron and copper.
The Cubana Rub was a blend a dear friend of mine shared with me and is graciously letting me share with you. It is absolutely delicious. The combination of the rub with the vegetables and goat cheese is so good this salad doesn’t even need dressing. If you find that you prefer it, I think a vinaigrette would pair nicely.
While this salad is a bit longer and more labor intensive than my usual recipes. It’s well worth it.
Roasted Fennel and Beet Salad Topped with Cubana Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
- 8 cup zen blend lettuces or baby kale
- 2 boiled or roasted beets any color is fine
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1/4 tsp spanish paprika
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
- In a medium sized pot, cover beets with water. Bring to a boil and turn down to medium. Boil for 45 minutes to one hour.
- About 20 minutes into the beets boiling, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Rinse and pat dry tenderloin. Rub with EVOO. Blend all the spices together and rub generously all over tenderloin. Place in a pan and cover with foil. Place on the bottom shelf of your oven.
- Now, slice off the bottom and stalks of your fennel. Slice into 1/4 in slices. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and spray with evoo. Place on the top shelf of the oven for a total time of 20 minutes. Flip half way through.
- When tenderloin is cooked thoroughly, take out of the oven and let rest.
- On four plates, divide your greens of choice evenly.
- Remove beets from the water and with a fork and knife, cut off the top and remove the skin. It should come off easily but you might need the knife to help. Cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Divide evenly between salads.
- Divide fennel evenly as well.
- Slice tenderloin and divide evenly.
- Put 1/4 cup goat cheese onto each salad.