Feta in this is good but it’s not quite right. A good goat cheese and less of it is better, or perhaps a nice crumbly ricotta. Nonetheless, a good combination. Slightly sweet, salty, soft and crunchy, the combination works. A little honey goes a long way cooked into the quinoa and complements the beet and the cheese. Gomasio, the nutty sesame salt owes its roots to Japan and is addictive and delicious with beetroot.  On the subject of flavoured salt, I recently made a nice discovery in the form of Goumanyat on 3 Rue Charles François Dupuis near the Marais. You have to ring the buzzer to be let into this épicerie fine for reasons unbeknown to me. Apparently to sell fine spices, saffron and good wine these days you need to vet your potential clientèle before they can be allowed to enter the premises. Anyway, they sell a wide range of flavoured sea salts among other delights. I bought a lightly smoked salt with sweet piment. It’s like adding a few drops of an evening of Andalusian tapas, more specifically, a good chorizo without actually consuming any, to your cooking…..

DSC_0548Ingredients

1 small chopped cooked beetroot
(either precooked or already roasted, as you wish)
1 cup quinoa

2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon gomasio

3 tablespoons goat cheese

1 tablespoon honey
1 quarter clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds for sprinkling

Making

If using pre-cooked beetroot then ensure it’s chopped or sliced finely and put it in the oven for the time it takes to cook the quinoa. About 15 or 20 minutes. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and slowly toss around the chopped garlic. Don’t let it burn, keep the heat low. Then toss in the quinoa and quickly stir so it doesn’t stick. Allow the grains to toast a little and savour the nutty smell. Add the honey making a well in the center of the quinoa so the honey hits the hot pan and dissolves coating the grains and absorbing the garlic. Continue to stir over the heat for a few minutes. Then add 2 cups of cold water. Stir and bring to a boil then bring down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Once most of the water is absorbed, take the quinoa off the heat, take the beetroot out of the oven and grab  a small round bowl and a plate. Spoon some cheese over the bottom of the bowl packing it in, then layer it with beetroot finishing with the quinoa. Quickly up end the bowl onto the plate, remove the bowl and serve sprinkled with gomasio and black sesame seeds.
(Note : This really only serves one person)