This salad is a delicious meal in itself but also makes a great accompaniment to grilled meat or poultry. I especially like this robust, earthy salad in winter when beetroot and sweet potatoes are in their prime and navel oranges are at their sweet best.
2 medium beetroot, washed well, trimmed and quartered
1 bunch baby beetroot, washed well and trimmed (I like to leave some of the stalk attached)
3 sprigs thyme
extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
2 white sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1cm rounds
150g white quinoa
5 large navel oranges, 4 juiced, 1 finely zested, then peeled and sliced into 1cm rounds
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 handful baby beet leaves
100g goat's curd
1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.
2. Toss the beetroot and thyme sprigs in a little oil, season, wrap in foil and roast for one hour or until tender. Open the foil and roast for another 10 minutes to dry out a little.
3. Place the sweet potato on a lined baking tray, drizzle with oil, season and roast for 25 minutes. Do this in the last half hour the beetroot is cooking so that they're both ready at about the same time.
4. Meanwhile, add the quinoa to a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Drain well.
5. To make the dressing, add the orange juice to a small saucepan and reduce to about 80 millilitres. Pour into a small bowl and add the zest, three tablespoons of oil, the pomegranate molasses and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and combine.
6. To assemble the salad, arrange the sweet potato on a serving platter, top with the quinoa, beetroot and then orange slices. Scatter over the beetroot leaves, dollop on the goat's curd, spoon over the dressing and serve.
1. This salad is at its best when the cooked elements are still gently warm, so time your cooking and don't refrigerate any of the components before assembling.
2. If you can't find baby beetroot leaves, you could use rocket, watercress or your favourite microherbs.
3. Most quinoa is prewashed. If it is not, thoroughly rinse it or it may be bitter.