Beet and rhubarb salad

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.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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