I first came across a far more complicated version of this recipe at the much adored. Ottolenghi in Notting Hill, UK. His little shop and multiple cookbooks capture the style, presentation and ingredients that hit home. This is my short cut simple version with a nod to Yotam Ottolenghi. I’ve done versions of this salad whenever I am asked to bring something potluck to a dinner and am often asked for the recipe. So finally, I have worked it through for you to enjoy, wow and dazzle and pass it on.
6 medium beets
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
6-8 stalks rhubarb, sliced into thick pieces
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
100 g gorgonzola
2 C watercress
salt and pepper
Wash and trim beets.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil beets until just softened to the touch, about 30 minutes (depending on their size).
When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into wedges. Set aside.
While beets are cooking, pickle the onions in the vinegar. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
In a large non stick fry pan (like my favourite Green Pan!) warm the sugar over low until it turns to liquid. Add maple syrup.
Stir in rhubarb and over medium heat cook (without letting the sugar burn) until it softens, abut 5 minutes, but maintains it’s colour and doesn’t go mushy. Let cool.
In a large beautiful bowl, toss beets with olive oil.
Add onions and the pickling vinegar. Stir in rhubarb. Top with cheese and watercress.