26 August, 2012

Strawberry Salad with Halloumi and Cucumber

My New. Favorite. Salad.

I bought halloumi a couple weeks ago, and it's been sitting in my fridge waiting to be included in a recipe worthy of halloumi.  

'What the heck is halloumi?' you might be thinking...

Halloumi is a Greek semi-soft cheese made from goat's, sheep's, and sometimes cows milk.  It taste kind of like mozzarella but is saltier.  It also has a high melting point- which allows you to fry or GRILL IT!  Who doesn't want warm, gooey cheese straight off the grill?!? 

Well I had finally had enough waiting, and I saw Jamie Oliver paired halloumi and strawberries in a salad.  Conveniently, I had strawberries so I decided to give it a go.   

 I wasn't sure what to expect, I had never had halloumi.  But the mixture of salty halloumi, sweet strawberries, crisp cucumber, and sharp onion....  all I can say is WOW. 

This is amazing.  It's elegant, easy, impressive, and delicious.

Strawberry Salad with Halloumi and Cucumber

Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Strawberry Salad with Speck and Halloumi
Serves 4

You will need:
4 ounces of Halloumi cheese, cut into thin slices
1/2 cucumber
About a half a pint of strawberries
1/2 white onion
Good quality balsamic vinaigrette
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Romaine lettuce (or mixed greens, whatever you prefer)
Chiffonade of about 10 basil leaves- Learn How-To Chiffonade

1. Hull and quarter strawberries. Place in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, the lemon juice, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. 

2. Cut onion into thin, half- moon slices.  

3.Peel the cucumber, leaving some thin ribbons of skin. Cut cucumber in half. Holding cucumber horizontally, cut cucumber into thin slices. Add the cucumber, onion, and basil chiffonade to the strawberries.  Reserve a few strawberries to decorate the top if you wish.

3. Arrange salad.  Place large leaves of romaine in base of bowl, or add mixed greens to a bowl. Top with the strawberry, cucumber, and onion mixture.  Reserve the juices from the strawberry bowl.  

4. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Once preheated, add the slices of halloumi.  Don't place them to close together or they will stick to each other, creating a cheese pancake! Fry for about one minute, or until golden brown. Carefully flip each piece over and fry for another minute.

5. Remove pan from heat, and top the assembled salad with fried halloumi. Drizzle the juices from the strawberry bowl, adding additional balsamic vinegar and olive oil if necessary.


Some other favorite recipes:
Zucchini Muffins with Apricot Cream Cheese
Sage and Maple Turkey Breakfast Sausage

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