Rainbow chard and quinoa salad with sultanas, sunflower seeds and ricotta

A great side dish for grilled meat, this salad is also delicious on its own.
A great side dish for grilled meat, this salad is also delicious on its own. Photo: Bonnie Savage
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Vegetarian

Common silverbeet is also known as chard or Swiss chard, and although the leaves are always green, the stalks come in a range of bright colours, which are typically combined and sold as rainbow chard. Although I like to keep a little crunch in much that is green or leafy, I really enjoy chard braised until it is very tender.

Ingredients

150g red quinoa, well washed

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, finely grated

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 bunch rainbow chard, trimmed (about 700g trimmed weight) and stalks cut on an angle into 5cm-wide pieces

3 tbsp golden sultanas

1½ cups vegetable or chicken stock (or water)

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

½ lemon, juiced

250g fresh ricotta

3 tbsp sunflower seeds

2 tbsp blanched almonds, toasted

2 handfuls dill fronds

Method

1. Add the quinoa to a medium saucepan and cover generously with boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.

2. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and fry briefly until fragrant. Add the cinnamon, cumin, chard, sultanas and stock and stir until the chard has wilted down. Season with salt, cover and cook over low heat until quite tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Add the quinoa to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for five minutes. Tip out on to a serving plate and set aside to cool a little.

4. While still warm, dress quinoa mixture with the vinegar, lemon juice and remaining oil. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and mix thoroughly. Drop on the chunk of ricotta, scatter over the sunflower seeds, almonds and dill and serve.

Tips

1. Stay clear of the ricotta tubs at the supermarket and buy a wedge fresh from the deli. Just make sure that it's bright and white with a fresh milky aroma.

2. You can, of course, use regular silverbeet for this recipe.

3. In place of quinoa, try this with cooked chickpeas.