1 1/2 pounds (about 4) medium golden beets, tops removed and washed well
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb or 2 small, trimmed and shaved on a mandoline
A few handfuls wild or baby arugula
Ricotta salata, for serving
In this beautifully balanced salad, sweet, earthy roasted beets pair with crisp shaved fennel and rich avocado in a bright-tasting orange-and-Dijon-mustard vinaigrette. Crumbled ricotta salata cheese finishes it off beautifully.
1Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the beets in an 8-inch square baking dish and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the dish (about 1/3 cup). Drizzle the beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until a knife can be easily inserted into the center of the beets, about 40 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes (for small beets start checking after 40 minutes; large beets may need even longer than 70 minutes).
2To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk together the zest, juice, vinegar, mustard, shallot, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil in a slow and steady stream; set aside.
3When the beets are ready, carefully remove the foil and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Peel and the beets. Cut them into thin slices. Arrange them on a serving platter and drizzle them with a little vinaigrette. Season with a little salt and pepper.
4Top with the sliced avocado, shaved fennel, and baby arugula. Drizzle with a little vinaigrette. Season with a little salt and pepper.
5Crumble or shave the ricotta salata over the top and serve, passing the extra vinaigrette on the side.