With spring (finally) in sight, Executive Head Chef at Sopwell House, Gopi Chandran reveals his recipe for a delicious and nutritious salad to start the season on the right fork
• 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 lemon
• 1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded
• 10g fresh coriander, chopped
• 10g fresh mint, chopped
• 15g fresh dill, chopped
• Seeds from ½ a small pomegranate
1 Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the fennel and season with salt and pepper.
2 Cook for around 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is just tender and lightly golden.
3 Add the lemon juice, and sugar. Stir through and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and pepper and set to one side.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 Remove the peel and white pith from the lemon. Cut between the membranes to release the segments. Discard the membranes and roughly chop.
8 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.
9 Gently incorporate and season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Try it for yourself
Sopwell House, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HQ