Beet and Rhubarb Salad


I’ve mentioned before that I’m always on the lookout for savory rhubarb recipes, or at least ways to use rhubarb that don’t involve a ton of sugar. I was intrigued by this beet and rhubarb salad printed in the latest issue of The Willy Street Co-Op Reader. And 1/4 cup of powdered sugar didn’t sound too bad. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, but I really enjoyed the colors, flavors and textures of the salad. The thinly sliced red onions take on the flavor of the dressing, and the color of the beets. It was beautiful. I’m not usually a big blue cheese eater, but I enjoyed the flavor in this salad. We packed it to enjoy with our picnic at Jazz in the Park at Wingra Park this past Saturday night. A beautiful night, a glass of white wine, and MadiSalsa on stage (and a little dancing!) against a backdrop of Lake Wingra made for a memorable evening.

Beet and Rhubarb Salad (from The Willy Street Co-Co Reader, June 2014; serves 4)

1 3/4 lbs. beets
3/4 lb. rhubarb
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon champagne or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 cup crumbled creamy blue cheese
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil, and bake for 40-70 minutes, depending on how large they are, until tender when pierced through the middle. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and chop.

Combine the rhubarb and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, stirring well. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and roast for 10-12 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, pomegranate molasses, maple syrup, olive oil, allspice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the red onion and allow to sit for a few minutes in the dressing. Add the beets and parsley, and gently fold to combine. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed. Just before serving, gently fold in the rhubarb and its juices. Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese.DSC03436

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