A week after visiting San Francisco and sitting at the bar of Bar Jules in the Hayes Valley, I was inspired to recreate a salad I had ordered that used smoked fish. After making it, I looked through my photos from that trip and realized that I put two salads in one.
This is a great salad to prep for because you can roast a lot of beets and just use three for this salad that could serve two and use the rest of them for another dish. The smallest chunk of smoked fish you can get will most likely be still too much, so you can use the leftover somewhere else as well. And the fennel? Who doesn’t like the crunch and freshness of fennel in all their salads? Don’t feel like you have to use mâche–lamb’s tongue at some stores–either; arugula or spinach will do just fine.
At Bar Jules for Sunday brunch, I ordered two things: a salad of arugula with fennel, Mandarin oranges and faro, plus smoked trout with golden beets. Both dishes obviously made an impression so when buying the ingredients for my version, it had slipped my mind that they were two separate salads.
No matter though because it became one of the best salads I’ve churned out of my kitchen. Ever.
3 golden beets, roasted, peeled, chopped
a small block of smoked white fish
1/4 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
a handful of mâche greens, some separated by hand
juice from a fresh lemon
1. Wrap golden beets in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel with your hands. Chop into small wedges.
2. In the meantime, gently separate the smoked fish meat from its bones using your hands. Set aside the smaller pieces from the larger ones.
3. In a large salad bowl, toss beets, fennel, mâche plus the smaller pieces of fish with olive oil and pepper to combine.
3. Squeeze some lemon juice all over the salad. Divide salad onto serving plates and top each with the larger pieces of the leftover smoked fish and fennel fronds. Drizzle with more olive oil for extra sheen.