With spring finally here, this delicious and nutritious salad will get you starting the season just right.
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 medium fennel bulbs, cut lengthways into ¼ inch thick slices
Malden sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
20ml fresh lemon juice
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
200g quinoa, rinsed
1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded
10g fresh coriander, chopped
10g fresh mint, chopped
15g fresh dill, chopped
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook for around 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is just tender and lightly golden. Add the lemon juice, and sugar. Stir through and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and pepper and set to one side.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Drizzle the sweet potato with olive oil, sea salt and cumin. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, and then set aside.
Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and 700ml water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce to a low simmer for around 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Drain and return to the pan. Let the quinoa sit in the pan covered for 15 minutes, before fluffing with a fork and transferring to a large bowl.
Remove the peel and white pith from the lemon. Cut between the membranes to release the segments. Discard the membranes and roughly chop. Add the chopped lemon with its juices to the cooked quinoa along with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and stir. Add the fennel mixture, sweet potato, chilli, and herbs. Gently incorporate and season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Recipe from Executive Head Chef at Sopwell House, Gopi Chandran