Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Greek Halloumi Salad with Hummus Dressing


I love that squeaky, rubbery cheese halloumi. After a few minutes of frying in hot oil, it transforms from an unpalatable bar of white waxy soapy stuff to a delicious savoury crispy gooey treat, perfect for a meat-free dinner. It's still a bit squeaky though.

So, with a bar of halloumi and the omnipresent tub of hummus in the fridge, I thought, let's make a bit of a healthy meal, after all of the birthday weekend tomfoolery. And this is it. I simply loosened the hummus into a vinaigrette base and coated a few salad vegetables with it before topping the whole thing off with fried halloumi slices. Delish.

In what other way could I fry a lump a cheese and call it a 'healthy alternative'? You gotta love the Greeks.

However, hummus is actually not Greek, despite it being served it in Greek-Cypriot restaurants up and down the UK. A decade or two ago, I went to beautiful Crete (I accept, not in Cyprus) and spent the entire trip searching for what I thought was the traditional Greek dish of hummus. No such thing. Yes, taramasalata and tzatziki adorned every dish in every taverna on the island (whether I asked for it or not), but hummus? No.

So, in the end, we ended up in a Cypriot restaurant, in Greece, before I got served the chickpea dip. And very delicious it was too.

I served this salad with Flatbreads, as you can see from the picture, and a very substantial and lovely meal it was too. Not exactly health food, but not too far off - especially if you fry the halloumi in olive oil, like I did.

All in all, this recipe comes in at a very reasonable £2 per serving.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

1 block of halloumi, cut into 6 slices
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Mixed salad vegetables (I used lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, sweet peppers, chillies and radishes, all cut into 1cm dice)
Flatbreads, to serve

For the hummus dressing:

2 tablespoons of hummus
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon of mustard
Pinches if salt and pepper

Fry the halloumi in the olive oil until brown on each side. Arrange the salad vegetables in large bowls and top with the halloumi slices. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Serve with the flatbreads.


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