Warm salad of toasted quinoa with feta, beetroot and hazelnuts

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  • Toasting grains (and grass seeds, in the case of quinoa) until golden brown before adding liquid and simmering will add depth and nuttiness to the end result. Any beetroot will do here if you can’t find the striped varieties

    Serves 4
    15 small, mixed-coloured beetroot, scrubbed, leaves trimmed off (any tender young leaves set aside)
    2 large garlic cloves, left whole in their skins 50g hazelnuts 200g quinoa 400ml vegetable stock 200g feta cheese, drained and roughly cubed 3 tbsp chives, chopped Handful of young beet leaves or chard leaves

    For the dressing
    1⁄2tbsp mild honey 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp cider vinegar
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp walnut oil

    Step 1) Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5. Put the freshly washed beetroot in the centre of a large square of foil. Add the garlic cloves and bring the foil up, scrunching the edges together to form a loose, tightly sealed parcel. Place on a baking tray and cook for 45 minutes, until the beets are tender to the point of a knife. Leave to cool slightly before peeling the beets and cutting them in half or quarters, depending on size.

    Step 2) Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts on a tray in the oven for about 8 minutes, until golden. Cool, then roughly chop.

    Step 3) Put the quinoa in a large, dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat, stirring often, until the grains smell ‘nutty’ and turn a shade darker. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

    Step 4) To make the dressing, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl. Add the honey and mustard and mix to a paste. Now whisk in the vinegar, oils, a pinch of salt and pepper and a tablespoon of water to make a dressing.

    Step 5) Combine the warm quinoa with the feta, chives, young beet or chard leaves, beetroot and half the toasted hazelnuts in a large bowl, pour the dressing over and fold through to combine. Scatter with the remaining hazelnuts to finish.

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