05 May 2013

Haloumi and Herb Salad

Haloumi is a vital part of Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in the arc around the eastern shores. It's awful when you eat it straight out of the fridge - it's got this squeeky, rubbery texture, and it's about as salty as the Dead Sea. No - you have to cook it. Some like it simply pan-fried and served with a generous squeeze of lemon, but I think it needs the fresh flavours of something green and aromatic - enter herbs. A great salad for those who need a little more substance with their greens.

  • 150 - 200g Haloumi Cheese
  • a sprinkling of plain flour (about 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 2 slices of bread (large dice)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves (plucked, not chopped)
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs (I used purple basil, za'atar/savoury and oregano)
  • 2 cups cos leaves (loosely chopped)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (large dice)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a couple of glugs of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

(dressing may require a touch of sugar or mirin if tomatoes are not ripe and sweet)

  1. Slice haloumi into 1/2 cm strips, then dust with flour. Pan-fry in hot pan in a small amount of olive oil until browned on both sides (about 1 minute each side). Set aside to cool, then panfry the garlic in a dash more oil, adding the bread and a good pinch of salt and fry until you have some flavoursome crispy croutons.
  2. Assemble other salad ingredients and toss through with lemon juice, a little olive oil (about 1/2 a tablespoon), salt and pepper, and sugar/mirin if necessary.
  3. Just before serving, add haloumi and croutons and toss gently.

You may wish to add green olives or a small amount of finely diced preserved lemons if you like a sour salad.

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