Quinoa & Beet Salad with Orange, Honey, Cumin and Cinnamon Dressing
Rather a long title, but I really wanted you to see the dressing ingredients. The sweet, earthy tones are beautiful with the beetroot and the combination with the quinoa and haloumi makes this a great main course salad. However, it becomes the star of the show when enjoyed with a piece of grilled salmon.
This dressing was a huge hit when I made it in a bulgur wheat salad for an event last December. The flavours really do complement each other gorgeously. I recently had a brainwave and thought I’d try it with beetroot. I wasn’t sure if it would work, as beets tend to go well with very sharp vinegary dressings, but it turned out to be a keeper.
At first I tried the salad with haloumi, you know, the Cypriot cheese that you fry lightly and then can’t stop eating. It suits it very much, since it’s quite a salty cheese and that gives some balance to the overall sweetness of the salad. Make sure you use quite a bit, cut it into small pieces and mix well so each bite you take has a mix of all the flavours. Another cheese I tried it with was anthotyro. This is a Greek soft white cheese, a bit like ricotta. It’s not particularly salty, depending of course on which sort you get, but it still made for a lovely combination with the salad ingredients. I can’t figure out why, but there you go. Now I didn’t try it myself, but I’m sure this would also go very well with feta, as feta and beets are BFFs even on their own.
After having done all my taste tests, I still had a small quantity of salad leftover in the fridge. We were having grilled salmon that evening, and rather than throw away this yummy last portion, I thought I’d have it on the side instead of the mashed potatoes we usually have with salmon. So I served it up, regarding it more as one of those mismatched clean-out-the-fridge dinners that I –happily- make for myself when I have leftovers. Boy was I wrong. One bite of the two together and I felt like I’d discovered gold. What an amazing combination of flavours! This salad was born to be served next to a beautiful, juicy, grilled fillet of salmon. Try it. Enough said.
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