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.
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
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
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.