Mix the sumac, dried thyme, cumin seeds and salt together. Set aside until needed.
This spice mix can be kept in an air-tight container for a few weeks, and should be sprinkled liberally whenever needed. It is especially nice with olive oil for dipping bread, or sprinkled over black olives for nibbling.
Slice the beetroots, and spread in a single layer on a serving plate.Season with Maldon salt.
Peel the oranges, and slice into rounds or segments. Scatter over the beetroots, and season. Save the juices for later.
Trim and wash the fennel, and shave thinly using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Toss the fennel shavings in the saved orange juice and a pinch of salt, before sprinkling over the beetroot and oranges.
Crumble the goat cheese over the salad.
Season generously with the Za'atar, and drizzle liberally with a nice olive oil.
«This salad is best served as soon as it is assembled, but it is rather forgiving and can be kept chilled until you are ready to serve it. However, be careful not to toss it about, as the beetroots will turn the whole thing into a pink salad.»
This is no ordinary beetroot and goat cheese salad: it is redolent with Middle Eastern flair, and is the perfect pick-me-up for the winter blues. However, it is suitable at any time of the year, as it is a simple and beautiful dish.