This salad is more complicated than most, however it is very impressive both in looks and in taste.
The pomegranate seeds just add that finishing crunch to this healthy salad, and give it a sweet sour taste.
It is a low fat recipe, and although it takes longer to make than most salads, is well worth the extra time.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 4 as a side salad
Ingredients About 300 g beetroot
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup water
1 cup quinoa
1 - 1½ medium oranges
½ tbsp red wine vinegar
1½ tbsp olive oil
About 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped pitted dates
½ pomegranate, seeded
Method For the pomegranate
Firstly, get the seeds out of the pomegranate. I find the easiest way to do this is in a big bowl of water.
Cut the top and bottom off, and score the skin.
Underwater, break up the pomegranate, and with your fingers, remove the red seeds, trying not to also get the white pith.
Invariably there WILL be white pith in the water!
Strain the seeds, and remove any small bits of pith that are there.
AND wear an apron as even though I did it in water, I still had several red splashes.
For the beetroot
Using tinned beetroot involves both chemicals and a lot of sugar, so I always make my own - I usually make extra and slice this and put it in its own juice, plus add some vinegar and it keeps for ages.
It is not difficult to cook - just clean the outside, cut off the long stalks and a part of the root.
Beetroot should look like this before baking, and be dried
Preheat the oven to 170°/150° fan forced.
Wrap each one up in silver foil and bake for about 1 hour or slightly more, or till they are tender.
For the quinoa
Always rinse quinoa for about two minutes before cooking, as this gets rid of the saponin which is quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering.
Bring the stock, water, some salt and the quinoa to a boil.
Turn down the heat to lowest, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
I always like to let it absorb the rest while the heat is off, so I leave it another 5 or so minutes.
Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl.
Making up the salad
Zest and then juice one orange and this should measure about 3 - 4 tbsp.
Add the vinegar, some salt and pepper and gradually mix in the oil slowly until it is well combined.
Stir in the parsley.
When the beetroot is cool enough to handle, peel, and dice it.
Add it to the quinoa along with the dates, and carefully mix.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat it.
Cut the remaining orange into segments, and garnish with these.
Add the pomegranate seeds and serve.
I served it with my mushroom and cheese tarts, though it would also be good as a light meal.