Halloumi Lentil Salad

Like our Autumn Salad this is another hearty delicious meal that suits the colder months.
To be honest it was one of those dishes where we looked in the fridge and thought, ‘what would go together to make something tasty’, so the recipe that follows is as flexible as you want to make it.

Having a good chunk of halloumi cheese to play with, we chose ingredients that complemented it. Something robust and flavoursome with hints of the Mediterranean seemed appropriate.

Halloumi cheese is a magical substance as it does not melt when you cook it, so is perfect for frying. This produces a lovely crispy exterior with soft, warm milky interior.

This is lovely dressed with some fruit vinegar which adds a little sparkle to everything.

Ingredients

  • halloumi cheese
  • black pepper
  • plain flour
  • olive oil
  • green lentils (about 60g per person)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • bay leaf
  • sweet red pepper (the long pointed type)
  • salt
  • green olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • lemon juice
  • flat leaf parsley
  • mixed salad leaves
  • fruit vinegar of your choice

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Method

Rinse the green lentils thoroughly in a sieve. Put the lentils, garlic cloves and bay leaf into a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Place on the hob and bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain in a sieve removing the bay leaf and garlic.

Peel and halve onion lengthways. Cut into thick slices lengthways. Heat some oil in frying pan drop in onions and fry gently until golden stirring occasionally. Put into a large bowl.

Char the red pepper over gas flame or under very hot grill. Place in plastic bag for 10 mins. Remove from the bag and peel off the charred skin. Giving the pepper a gentle rinse under a cold tap will help the skin come off.
Remove stalk and seeds. Slice into thin strips about 6cm long.
Place the pepper strips into the bowl with the onion.

Take a handful or so of green olives and cut them half. Add to the bowl.

Take a few cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Add to the bowl.

Tip in the drained lentils. Add some salt and freshly ground black pepper, a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir to mix well.

Tear in some whole parsley leaves and stir in.

Place some salad leaves into bowls and drizzle with a little salad dressing of your choice.

Pat the halloumi dry and cut into half centimetre slices. Grind over some black pepper and press it on so that it sticks. Scatter about a tablespoon of plain flour on to a plate. Coat the halloumi with the flour on all sides.
In the pan in which you cooked the onions, gently fry the halloumi on both sides until golden brown.

Put the lentil salad mixture over the salad leaves and top with the fried halloumi, finishing with a good fruit vinegar and olive oil.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS

Salad dressings are available from Yare Valley Oils which are made using their cold pressed rapeseed oil.
Delicious tasting extra virgin olive oil is available from Max Olive Oil.
For a range of fruit vinegars choose something from Womersley – a raspberry, blackcurrant or even strawberry would be good.

FOODS IN SEASON
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