Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad

Last week we skipped Green Monday due to Easter Monday (Green Easter Monday?), but now we’re continuing our recipe series. The last one we published was for a delicious Basil Spaghetti! Today we’re looking at a healthier option – beet, fennel, and fig salad! The recipe has been adapted by the Green Monday / HSI Africa team from the Candle 79 Cookbook. Enjoy! Serves six. 


Cranberry-sage dressing:

  • 1⁄2 cup (115ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup (115g) finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup (225g) fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1⁄4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 fresh sage leaf, chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup (75ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup / sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Salad ingredients:

  • 450g fresh beets
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 115g nuts
  • 225g baby arugula (rocket)
  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced (optional)
  • 6 fresh figs, cut into wedges


Dressing preparation:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the cranberries and continue to cook, stirring, until they are softened and begin to pop (about 5 minutes).
  2. Set aside to cool, then transfer to a blender. Add the vinegar, rosemary, sage, water, maple syrup/sugar, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and process until smooth.

Salad preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 178 C.
  2. Wrap the beets in aluminium foil and put them on a baking sheet. Put the fennel on a separate baking sheet, cut side up, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the beets and fennel in the oven until fork-tender (about 30 minutes for the fennel, and 50 to 60 minutes for the beets).
  4. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut them into thin slices. Cut the fennel into very thin slices.
  5. Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted (about 5 to 8 minutes).
  6. Put the arugula (rocket) in a large bowl; add the beets, fennel, nuts, and optional pear, and gently toss together. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the figs over the salad.

Additional suggestion: Alternatively, divide the arugula evenly among salad plates, placing it to one side of the plate. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter the nuts on top. Arrange the beets, fennel, figs, and optional pear alongside the arugula and serve at once.

And there you go, a simple Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad to enjoy this week for Green Monday. We’ll be back with more soon!

Recipe adapted from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, Calif.

Photo credit: Rita Maas