“Greek Salad” from “Happy Salads”

IMG_9280It appears that we are on a Greek Salad kick over here, given that I just made (and reviewed) a Rice Greek Salad recipe that was in Sirocco. I’m not apologising for this behaviour because I’ve always loved Greek Salad.

This version from Happy Salads was a more traditional one, given that there was no rice component. It also gave you two options for cheese. It could go without saying that I love any recipe that gives me two options for cheese. For this one, you could either deep fry a panko-covered slab of Feta and put it on top, or you could roast pieces of halloumi and put those on top.

Given that it was Wimbledon Sunday and we had spent all afternoon cheering on Andy Murray, I didn’t have the energy or the interest in doing the extra steps involved with the feta, so I went with the halloumi. Given our love of halloumi it’s surprising that I’ve never roasted it before, but it worked a treat and I plan on doing it again.

The rest of the salad was what you’d expect: cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, pepper. (Side note: Although the recipe called for using a green pepper, I used a yellow one because that’s what we had the refrigerator. The world did not come to an end.)

The salad was delicious and we all liked it. Was it the most interesting and inventive salad ever? No. But it was good, and sometimes that’s all you need.

 

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“Greek Salad” from “Happy Salads”

“Papaya, Halloumi and Watercress Salad” from “The Art of Eating Well”

 

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Anna: This salad is amazing. I think it is my dream salad. I cannot recommend it enough. I mean, anything with halloumi (or feta, or any other salty cheese) gets my attention. And I have to admit that I scaled up the amount of halloumi just a little bit. But I had been for a run this morning…. Combining it with papaya though, that was a revelation. Sweet and salty. Peppery watercress. Red onions, pine nuts…. It was so simple and quick to make but tasted really indulgent and totally delicious. I’m having it for lunch again tomorrow. And I think maybe the next day too!

“Papaya, Halloumi and Watercress Salad” from “The Art of Eating Well”

“Spicy Halloumi with Tomato and Coriander Salad” from “Madhouse Cookbook”

Oh halloumi, how I love thee.

It is an odd cheese, to be sure. If you’ve never eaten it before, whatever you do, don’t eat it cold. When cold, it has the consistency (not to mention the slight taste) of rubber. This might also explain that when you buy it, it has a use-by date about a year into the future. It’s made from a combination of sheep and goat milk.

Once you heat it up, you can leave any worries about the cheese behind. Upon heating, either over a grill (preferable) or fried, the once rubbery cheese becomes something else altogether. Unlike almost all other cheeses, it has a very high melting point, which means you can grill or fry without worrying that you’re going to inadvertently make some fondue.

Amid the recent economic troubles of Cyprus, I didn’t worry about how the troubles might hurt the rest of the European economy, but how it might affect my supply of halloumi cheese. Priorities.

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So it was with great glee that I found the recipe for spicy halloumi with tomato and coriander salad in the Madhouse Cookbook. Sign me up.

The recipe is from the “Cling On to Your Social Life” chapter and is intended to be a starter for four adults. I halved the recipe and turned it into a lunch for one adult (me).

For this dish, Jo Pratt tells you to marinade the halloumi cheese in olive oil, lemon juice, garam masala and chilli powder. In all my delicious previous encounters with the cheese, I never marinated it, but I was willing to give it a try. The end result was interesting, but I think wholly unnecessary. Halloumi is just as good on its own, though I did appreciate that it was a somewhat different approach than what I normally do with halloumi, which is just throw it on the closest heat source while my mouth waters.

The tomato salad that went with it was simple, but very good. It was a combination of cherry tomatoes, coriander leaves and red onion dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

Will I have this again for lunch? You bet, especially as I am currently attempting to eat vegetarian for all lunches. Will I go to the trouble of marinating the halloumi? Probably not, but it was a good idea.

Finally, on behalf of all halloumi lovers worldwide, can I just say to the economy of Cyprus: Get better soon.

“Spicy Halloumi with Tomato and Coriander Salad” from “Madhouse Cookbook”