Unusual combination a delicious one!
Beet salads became rather ubiquitous on restaurant menus a few years ago, and there’s a good reason why: beets are delicious, nutritious, inexpensive and very pretty on the plate. I’m also a big fan of rhubarb, another bright-coloured vegetable (often mistakenly called a fruit). While rhubarb is gloriously abundant in spring, for the past few years it has been a great delight to find local rhubarb available in wintertime, now that it’s being grown in darkened barns in many northern hemisphere countries. The combination of rhubarb and beets in a salad makes for an explosion of colour as well as a balanced, sweet-tart flavour. To make this a complete meal, you could serve the beet and rhubarb salad over cooked quinoa or couscous.
- 5 pounds (700 grams) beets (a mix of red, golden, candy cane is really pretty)
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil, divided
- 3/4 pound (300 grams) rhubarb, washed and cut in 1 inch/2.5cm pieces
- 4 teaspoons (20 mL) white sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Balsamic
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon (30 mL) olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon (.65 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoon (30 mL) fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) goat cheese or feta, crumbled (omit for vegan version)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Scrub beets and trim ends. Leave small beets (less than 2 inches/5 cm in diameter) whole; cut larger beets into halves or quarters to approximate that size. Lay the beets in a baking pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cover pan with a tight lid or foil.
- Roast beets for 40 – 50 minutes, until the largest pieces are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
- While beets are cooking, combine rhubarb and sugar in a bowl, then transfer the mixture to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake alongside the beets for 8 – 10 minutes, until tender-crisp (think al dente pasta). Set aside to cool.
- While rhubarb and beets are cooking, add the cider vinegar, balsamic, maple syrup, remaining olive oil, cinnamon and shallots to a jar with a tight lid. Cover and shake to combine well.
- When beets are cooked, let them cool for a few moments then then peel and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes.
- To assemble, put the cooked beets in a serving bowl and drizzle the dressing over them, stirring gently to coat the beets. Taste and add salt and/or pepper to your liking.
- Just before serving, add the rhubarb and any accumulated juices plus salt and pepper to taste to the beets. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.