Monday, 6 February 2012

Changing of the seasons salad

As spring nudges its head around the corner, I feel like welcoming it in, inviting it home for a cup of tea. Its a bit timid and winter is still in charge around here even though in Ireland we haven't had the snowfall that's hit other places. But there is something in the air, the wheel of the seasons is turning and it feels like life is about to kickstart again after a long hibernation.

This salad is perfect for now. root vegetables and Spanish oranges are in season together for just a short window in the year. It's like a reminder that spring is just around the corner, even if it's not here yet. A salad packed full of vitamins and minerals and the colours just look beautiful arranged together on a plate.


Serves 2

4 handfuls of spinach
2 medium beetroots
1 orange
40g quinoa
3 tbsps apple vinegar
3 tbsps olive oil
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Peel and slice the beetroot into chunks. Add them to an oven dish with the apple vinegar, olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir to make sure the beetroots are coated in the mixture. Cover with tinfoil and transfer to the oven at 180C for approximately 40 minutes.

While the beets are halfway through, get the quinoa on. Rinse first with cold water, then add to a medium saucepan filled one third of the way with water. Bring to the boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.

Slice the orange into segments and then half those segments. Slice the feta. Wash and wring out the spinach.

Add the spinach, then the beetroots, oranges and feta. Sprinkle over some quinoa. The juices that the beetroots were roasted is a great dressing; drizzle over the leaves and serve. 

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