Sunday, 28 June 2009

Halloumi and quinoa salad

In the warm summer months I often tend to eat salad at least once a day and it can get a little tiresome. I've been looking to vary the kind of 'salad' I make, less insipid bowls of leafy greens more vibrant, fresh and delicious ways to make the most of seasonal produce. Inspired by a recipe from Olive Magazine's 7 dinners for £35 article, I made a healthy vegetarian salad for dinner last week.

I adore cheese of any kind, and add it to dishes as often as possible. Here the halloumi was pretty much the main event, though I adapted the recipe slightly to include some broad beans that I just couldn't resist buying and they almost stole the show. I had a hugely enjoyable afternoon podding and shelling them in the sun!

What I like best about this recipe is that quinoa (unlike cous cous or bulghar wheat) is really quite flavoursome, even when cooked using just water rather than stock and it's texture is satisfyingly crunchy. It has a distinct nutty note and I will definitely be using it more often from now on. On top of the flavour there are the obvious health benefits, the high protein content ensures its wide use in so called 'superfood' dishes. Here it was dressed with cumin infused oil which gave it a lift and even Thomas (who's not usually a fan of vegetarian dishes) really enjoyed it.

You will need:
150g quinoa
4 tomatoes
olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
150g halloumi
50g broad beans

Quarter the tomatoes, season and drizzle with olive oil. Oven bake them for about 30 minutes at 200c.

Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, the cumin and red wine vinegar to the sliced onion. Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, cool then combine with the onion.

Stir in the roasted tomatoes, broad beans, pan fry the halloumi and serve on top of the quinoa.

The roasted tomatoes were rich in flavour and the broad beans were so fresh that I added them raw, the smaller ones were the tastiest. I served this with a yogurt dip, livened up with lemon juice and garlic, and some toasted wholemeal pitta breads. This was a satisfyingly filling meal and I will definitely make it again. I got the halloumi from the supermarket and during the pan frying process it lost a fair bit of liquid, I think better sourcing of this would lift the dish to another level and I shall do better in future.

No comments: