spring is in the air

Today I’m looking out the window at the crocuses (or it could be croci according to the dictionary!) in flower and the sun is shining. It’s not hot, but spring is definitely in the air. I’m going to let you into a little secret – I get salad cravings. I know, with most people it’s chocolate but for me it’s salad. Or just vegetables. It’s not that I don’t eat chocolate – I do – but I rarely crave it. Anyway, back to the salad since that’s what we’re having for dinner tonight. I am going to be using Halloumi which is a Cypriot cheese, usually made from the milk of goats and sheep. Slightly salty in flavour, it has a lovely chewy texture and retains it’s shape when cooked making it great for frying. This is a really colourful, refreshing salad with lots of different textures. Perfect for a hot summer’s day but seeing it’s only March, you can just shut your eyes and pretend!

halloumi, orange and red onion salad

For this salad you will need halloumi cheese, oranges, red onions, salad leaves, tomatoes, pistachio nuts and red chillis (however hot you like them but I go for the medium hot). This is really more of an assembly job so having given you the ingredients you can decide for yourself how much of each you want on the plate. I buy my halloumi from m&s. It is made totally from ewe’s milk and will feed 3/4. You will also need some vinaigrette. I make my own with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to one tablespoon of red wine vinegar, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and seasoning to taste.

For the oranges you should cut off the tops and bottoms, take off the skin and then segment so there is no pith.

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Cut the red onions in half, root to tip, skin and then slice in half moons.

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Slice tomatoes in half – cherry or other small tomatoes work well.

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Chop some pistachio nuts

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Then some chilli

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Now get the salad leaves out of the fridge and start layering up the salad – leaves, orange, tomato, onion then at the last minute place your frying pan on quite a high heat with no oil (I’m thinking about your fat intake) and when it is hot, pop in the slices of halloumi. These literally take seconds.

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Once they have the lovely toasted marks, turn them over and give them the same treatment on the other side. Immediately put them on top of the salad and sprinkle some chopped pistachios and chilli on top. Drizzle over some vinaigrette and you will have a delicious salad for your dinner!

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