Beet & Rhubarb Salad
Back when I was still going out to restaurants, my mom and I tried a new hotspot in downtown Sacramento. This salad was one of the dishes that I fell in love with. The sweetness of the roasted beets blends perfectly with tart rhubarb and bitter radicchio. In this version I’ve added some toasted sunflower seeds and creamy goat cheese. It’s no longer rhubarb season, but rhubarb is grown in hothouses year-round and can still easily be found at most supermarkets. It may look fancy, but is surprissingly simple to make. I suggest serving it with a side of warm pita bread.
Roasted Beet & Rhubarb Salad
2 stalks rhubarb (about 1 cup diced)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 small beets
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 large strawberries
1 head Castelfranco radicchio or Chioggia radicchio
1 small container (6 ounce jar) goat cheese marinated with herbs and oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup toasted and salted sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon za’atar
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash the rhubarb and beets. Slice the beets in half. Then, cut side down, slice into ½” thick pieces. Place the beets in foil. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the beets. Add the black pepper corns and thyme sprigs. Seal the foil and place it on the baking sheet. Put into the oven for 30 minutes.
Slice the rhubarb into ½” long pieces. Toss the rhubarb in a bowl with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and the tablespoon of maple syrup. When the beets only have 20 minutes left, spread the rhubarb onto the parchment lined baking sheet next to the beets and continue to cook.
Wash and slice the strawberries. Place them into a bowl with the balsamic vinegar for 5 minutes. Rinse the radicchio and slice into chunks. Toss into a large bowl. Add the strawberries and balsamic to the bowl with the radicchio. Drizzle the oil and herbs from the goat cheese over the radicchio and toss with your hands to blend.
When the beets and rhubarb are fork tender, remove from the oven. Open the foil pack, being careful not to burn yourself with any steam. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Toss them into the salad and divide between two plates.
Finish the salad by crumbling the goat cheese on top, sprinkling on the sunflower seeds and za’atar.
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