The four main ingredients—arugula, fennel, strawberries, and beets—represent everything we love about the spring garden. They're bright and refreshing, tender yet still grounded in their earthiness. They need little dressing; just a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar does the trick. Tip: Roast the beets ahead of time and refrigerate them in their skins for up to 3 days.
2 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried
4 young beets, any color, roasted*, cooled, peeled and sliced
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1. Arrange the arugula, beets, fennel and berries on a platter or in a serving bowl. In a small jar with a lid, combine the vinegar and oil, a generous pinch of salt and a turn or two of the pepper grinder. Close and shake vigorously. Drizzle the mixture over the salad. Top with more cracked pepper.
2. To roast beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse beets; trim off stems and long root "tails." Wrap beets in a square of parchment paper, folding over edges. Wrap parchment package in a square of aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast until beets are fork-tender, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on their size.