Heirloom beetroot salad with grilled haloumi

 

Recipe by Brenda Fawdon from Eat Local Volume 1

Heirloom beetroot are earthy and sweet. They marry exceptionally well with the tart taste of rhubarb, the saltiness of goat haloumi, and the pop of a scattering of juicy pomegranate seeds. Serve this festive salad as a starter or as part of a celebratory banquet — it is not only fresh and delectable, it is a beautiful addition to the table.

SERVES 4

3 golden beetroot, leaves removed and scrubbed

3 purple beetroot, leaves removed and scrubbed

3 target (candy stripe) beetroot, leaves removed and scrubbed

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

white pepper, freshly ground

2 stems rhubarb, leaves removed

1 teaspoon golden castor sugar

1 lettuce, washed and dried

200g haloumi, sliced and grilled until golden

1 large pomegranate, cut in half widthwise

ORANGE DRESSING

zest and 1⁄2 the juice from 1 orange

5 ml orange blossom water (optional)

1 teaspoon local honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

60ml extra virgin olive oil

 

To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a jar, secure the lid and shake like mad. Refrigerate until required.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut one of each variety
of beetroot into quarters, place on a roasting tray,
drizzle with oil, season and roast for 30 minutes, or
until caramelised and tender. Set aside. Thinly slice the remaining beetroot using a mandolin. (Use the guard
and watch those fingers!) Place sliced beetroot into three small bowls, using a different bowl for each variety. Cover with iced water and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Cut the rhubarb into 5 cm batons and place on the tray in a tight row. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper, and bake for 10–12 minutes or until just-soft. Check with the tip of a knife. Remove and cool.

Arrange the salad on a large platter. Before serving, tap the pomegranate seeds over the salad, and finish by spooning the orange dressing to taste.

Note: Orange blossom water can be purchased from most supermarkets and delis.