Cauli, beet & quinoa bowl recipe image

Print Cauli, beet & quinoa bowl

Quinoa has been much heralded in the last few years. It cooks with little fuss, in good time, and is high in nutrients, vitamins, fibre and proteins. It has a very mild bitter edge to its taste but generally makes a great bass note to a whole ensemble of ingredients. I’ve chosen the earthy flavours of beetroot and cauliflower, some pepperiness from the watercress, sweet fruit, crunchy seeds and a sharp tart kick from the orange and balsamic.

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 600g beetroots
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Light olive oil
  • 1 cauliflower
  • ½ red onion
  • 50g watercress
  • 1 stock cube
  • 150g tricolour quinoa
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 apple
  • 30g chervil
  • 40g seed mix
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 40g sultanas
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6. Put the kettle on to boil. Zest and juice the orange. Prepare the beetroots by peeling them and cutting them into 1½cm wedges. Place them in the roasting tray with half the orange juice, the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Season and mix well. Cover the tray tightly with foil and place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. While the beetroots roast, prepare the cauliflower by removing the leaves and central stalk. Break the head into small bite-sized florets.
  3. Peel and finely dice half the red onion. Wash the watercress, shake it dry and coarsely chop it. Crumble the stock cube into a measuring jug. Tip in 500ml of boiling water. Mix well until the cube dissolves. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold running water.
  4. Transfer to a saucepan and heat for 1-2 minutes, until it just starts to pop. Pour in 350ml of the stock, taking care as it will splutter. Simmer for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, tip the remaining 150ml of stock into the frying pan. Add the saffron, cauliflower and a pinch of salt.
  5. Simmer the cauliflower in the stock, turning often until the cauliflower is just tender and the stock has all but evaporated. When the pan is nearly dry add 1 tbsp of oil and fry the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes until it colours lightly at the edges.
  6. Keep to one side and give the frying pan a quick clean. Drain the quinoa and keep it to one side. Wash the apple, cut it into quarter’s and cut away the core. Chop each quarter into a small dice. Wash the chervil and shake it dry.
  7. Discard the larger stalks and chop the leafy tops finely. Roughly chop the sultanas. After the beets have had 30 minutes remove the foil. Bake for a further 10 -15 minutes until tender to the tip of a knife. Meanwhile return the frying pan to the heat.
  8. Tip in the seed mix, cumin, coriander and orange zest. Dry fry them for a few minutes until everything smells fragrant. Be very careful not to let anything burn. Remove the beetroot from the oven. Add everything else to the roasting tray and mix together with the warm beetroot and oil.
  9. Test the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Pile artfully into bowls.

Cooks notes

Cooking the cauliflower in a shallow pan with minimal liquid allows you to impart flavour but saves the cauliflower from becoming mushy. A light fry at the end gives it extra flavour and texture.
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