Shaved Beet and Fennel Salad

beet salad

This week has turned out drastically different than I planned. Yancey fought a huge fire on Tuesday night, which meant I had to cancel three meetings on Wednesday. Aimee's daughter fell and broke her elbow. I'm in limbo with work that may or may not be coming down the pipeline. And my dear friend Jordan's in town! I've wrangled being able to see her three times already, which has been an unexpected blessing. I reminded a friend this week that "Life is lived in the in-between times." I'm reminding myself, too. When things don't follow the nice little linear route we've laid out, we can either freak out or be present. I hope I'm getting closer to a 50/50 ratio.

Though they're more common than they used to be, raw beets are another unexpected tidbit. I love them roasted as much as the next person, but Seattle is experiencing a rare 95 degree weekend. No roasting around here. I also happen to have a mandoline, which shaves things paper-thin. I got it at a thrift store years ago, and it seems indispensable in the summer. Jenn and I were at the farmer's market last week and we both bought bunches of chioggia beets. They are stunningly gorgeous. Whenever I find them, it's impossible to resist their sprirograph trance. I advised Jenn to try them raw. She emailed me late at night, asking if there were any ailments that resulted from consuming too many beets. They are that good.

Shaved Beet and Fennel Salad
Serves two as a side dish. Wash two chioggia beets and peel them with a vegetable peeler. Wash one large or two small fennel bulbs. Using a mandolin, a very sharp knife, or a (thin!) slicing blade on a food processor, slice the beets and fennel bulb as thinly as you can. Put them in a medium bowl. Very finely chop a Thai chile or serrano chile and add it to the bowl. Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse salt over salad, squeeze half a lemon, and pour a glug of good olive oil. Gently mix with your hands. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some parmesan over the top.