The leaves have officially begun to turn….kinda late this year, I think….and along with them, the temperatures are methodically trending downward….so it’s time for a shift in wardrobe and a shift in food choices. Fall is a transition season. Heartier fare, that is generally served during the winter months doesn’t need to appear on our plates all at once. I don’t automatically shift to boots, I start with close toed shoes…and gradually make my way over to the shoes that require socks. I do like to eat in season, but it’s also a gradual shift. The perfect transition salad is a combo of cooked and raw, greens and roots. You buying what I’m selling? Time to make a roasted carrot and fennel salad with arugula.
I’m not a huge fan of licorice, and therefore I don’t enjoy raw fennel…..though to be honest, a friend once served sliced fennel drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt + pepper as a palette cleanser between courses and I absolutely loved it. Aside from that one time, though, raw fennel doesn’t really do it for me. Roasted fennel on the other hand….a winner in my book, each and every time. As it roasts, fennel becomes sweet and caramelized and has no licorice aftertaste. Say what? Yes….SWEET and caramelized……and makes the roasted carrots taste even sweeter too!
Carrots have an amazing and wide array of health benefits. They are rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin C which is known to boost immunity. They have significant amounts of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and keeping bowels regular. The large amounts of beta-carotene and Vitamin A in carrots have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and macular degeneration and improves eye sight. Some other benefits of eating carrots include: reduced cholesterol levels, improved oral health, reduction in the risk of stroke, and blood sugar regulation. Root vegetables, like carrots, are naturally sweet and a great way to combat sugar cravings.
This recipe for roasted carrots and fennel salad with arugula is one of those that looks fancy when you serve it, tastes complex with undertones of savory mixed in with sweet and earthy too, yet it’s very simple to make. I taught this in all my October classes this year and it was a huge hit….my students commented that they love how little time it takes to prepare this salad.
As I mentioned last week, when I posted the golden chia pudding recipe, the anti-inflammatory curcumin (found in turmeric) is more available to us when mixed with black pepper. If you are suffering from inflammation—-due to injury, medications, a diet filled with too much sugar or animal products (both are very pro-inflammatory), or an abundance of stress for example—-consuming more turmeric is a natural way to fight inflammation without resorting to medication.
I love this recipe for fall, where some days you just want warm, nurturing food (like roasted and spiced carrots) and sometimes salad is still what you’re craving. Kinda like shoes. Maybe wear boots once in a while, but certainly not yet all the time….there are still days where flip flops are just fine!
I also think this roasted carrot and fennel salad is also a perfect choice for Thanksgiving….not that you need to start freaking out about that….YET.
Gorgeous, tasty and healthy. Beautiful colors and tons of nutrition.