Growing up my mom always had pickled beets in the back of the refrigerator. Unfortunately she combined them with eggs in a large jar, but I avoided the eggs and went for the beets. I always felt that it was a strange combination (pickled beets and eggs), but I guess it was her German upbringing.
Lately, I can't get enough of beets. I just love their earthly flavor and vibrant color and they go really well with fennel and orange. Also, when you pickle them it gives them a nice tang, which compliments their earthiness and brings out their natural sweetness. This salad is beautiful and can be served any time but is a really nice first course to serve to impress your dinner guests. Normally, I would make this with both red and golden beets and alternate the beets on the plate, but the market only had red at the time. Whatever color beets you use, it's still a beautiful salad and absolutely delicious!