Impress guests and family with a beautiful rolled roast filled with a Mediterranean-inspired quinoa salad studded with spinach and herbs, served with a unique and flavourful side dish of roasted fennel accented with fresh orange zest.
1. Whisk 1/4 cup oil with vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Divide into two equal portions. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp remaining oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Cook shallots and red pepper for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add spinach; cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted.
3. Toss spinach mixture with quinoa and Parmesan. Stir in one portion of reserved dressing. Cover and set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C) Lay roast out flat and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until it’s an even thickness. Season all over with salt and pepper.
5. Spread quinoa mixture all over roast, leaving a small border. Starting at the long end, roll into a tight log, like a jelly-roll. Using butcher’s twine, tie the roast, at 2-inch intervals, to secure. Place in a large, greased roasting pan. Brush remaining oil over roast.
6. Roast for 1-3/4 to 2 hours or until an instant read thermometer registers 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare when inserted into the center of the roast. Loosely tent with foil. Let stand for 20 minutes before carving, against the grain, into thin slices.
7. Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 425°F. Cut fennel in half, and each half into 4 wedges. Toss fennel with remaining dressing mixture until evenly coated. Arrange, in a single layer and cut side down, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
8. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender-crisp and light golden brown around the edges. Arrange carved roast on a platter with roasted fennel. Toss orange zest with fennel fronds and sprinkle over roasted fennel.
• Ask the butcher to butterfly the roast before taking it home or buy a whole roast and prepare it at home. Using a large chef’s or carving knife, slice roast lengthwise stopping when you are about 1/2-inch from bottom of the roast. Open the roast up like a book and cut one side to ‘unroll’ the roast to be about 3/4-inch thick piece of meat. Do the same with the other side so that you end up with a rectangular piece of meat that is about 3/4 inch thick.
• Have the fennel ready to go into the when the roast comes out, so the side dish is finished just as the roast is being carved.
• The stuffing can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use