Beetroot and orange quinoa, millet and red rice salad with fried halloumi

Beetroot and orange quinoa salad with fried halloumi

How cheerful does this blushing beetroot salad look on an Autumn day?

Our family had a rare girls-only dinner last week when all the males were away – so we wanted to make the most of it with a meat-free dinner that was healthy but still hearty. Enter this little number.

This used a lot of weird, lonely looking ingredients in our kitchen which is extremely satisfying: three pitiful portion sizes of quinoa, millet and red rice, dwelling miserably at the bottom of three separate plastic packets… as well a sad looking orange, some parsley and some halloumi which, although it was well in date, was on its way to becoming a fridge relic, in danger of soon being forgotten about I think.

Beetroot and orange quinoa salad with fried halloumi

Herby, earthy, zesty, salty and dare I say it… wholesome.

YOU WILL NEED:

200g mixed quinoa, red (or brown) rice, millet (whatever you have really)
4 cooked beetroots (unpickled), and remember to keep portions down to 4 slices
1 orange
handful of chopped parsley
handful of chopped mint
glug of olive oil
big squeeze of lemon juice
1 x packet of halloumi, sliced.

Firstly, rinse and cook your grains / psuedocereals / whatever they may be, so that you have a filling, comforting cooked base for your salad.

While they are cooking, chop your beetroot and herbs. Zest your orange, then chop it up into smallish, bitesized chunks. Heat a griddle pan on a very high heat. Add your salad ingredients to the grains and mix well. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over it, along with a good squeeze of lemon, adding pepper, but not too much salt (remember halloumi is going on top).

The grains will turn a gorgeous pinky colour (thanks to the beetroot) – be sure to taste it and play with the dressing depending on what you think it needs. The orange I used turned out to be very sweet which was a bit of a shame, so I had to compensate with more acidity – but if your orange is particularly tart and the zest is coming through, then you may want to add more oil, or indeed nothing at all.

Once it’s hot, toast some mixed seeds in the dry pan. Remove from the pan once popping around a little. Now it’s time to add some oil and fry your halloumi. This is best done in a scorching hot pan – be careful with the oil, which will spit as you add it, and you just want to sear both sides of the cheese, at which point you can turn down the heat if you want to.

Add the halloumi and the seeds to the salad when you’re ready to serve.

 

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