Monday, 10 May 2010

Halloumi, lentil and tomato salad

Here's a quick and healthy salad that's substantial enough to have for dinner. Trust me, if you're not usually a salad fan, this one will win you over!

Halloumi is a greek cheese made with sheep and goats milk. It has a high melting point so can be grilled or fried without melting, and forms a delicious golden crust. It's a great meat substitute as it has quite a "meaty" texture if you know what I mean!
Usually I use raw cherry tomatoes. I decided to roast them this time to see if it added anything to the dish, but actually I think raw tomatoes worked best as the freshness cuts through the lentils. Up to you though. Try it and see!
This recipe serves 4, or 2 with leftovers for lunch the next day. This really is good cold in your lunchbox the day after.

250g pack cherry tomatoes, halved
250g pack haloumi cheese, sliced or cut into chunks
150g puy or green lentils, rinsed
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
salad leaves

(If roasting the tomatoes, pre-heat oven to 200'c/Gas 5. Lay out tomatoes on a tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, whilst you get on with the rest of the recipe).
Put the chilli flakes, garlic and the sliced red onion into a bowl. Pour over the lemon juice. Leave to one side, to allow the acid in the lemon juice to macerate and soften the onion.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils in lightly boiling water for about 20 minutes, until just tender.Drain well and add to the onions. Season.

Toss through the cherry tomatoes and stir in the coriander.

Grill or fry the halloumi until golden. This will take about 2 minutes on each side.

Divide half of the lentil mixture between two plates (put the other half away and save for tomorrow).

Add some salad leaves to each plate and mix them through the lentils (add the salad leaves to your leftovers the morning after so they don't go soggy overnight!)

Top with some haloumi slices, again saving half the halloumi for leftovers. Yum!

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