With summer on the doorstep and the looming threat of having to get into a bikini at any moment, the season calls for salads. I know I know, I hear you thinking it, you don’t make friends with salads. I am aware that, as a vegetarian, it is odd for me to semi-agree with this sentiment, but in winter especially, a salad just does not cut it for me. A salad with haloumi though, isn’t just a salad. It’s a carb-free vehicle for this salty, fried, guilty-pleasure that never fails to satisfy and is fairly easy on the waistline (in comparison to say, a bowl of pasta).
This salad is super easy and the only thing that will let it down is if you don’t use good produce, which in my view usually means organic and locally sourced. Most of the ingredients pictured were sourced from the local growers market at Taylor Square. If the elements listed aren’t seasonal or readily available, they are easily replaced. Pumpkin, for instance, could easily go in place of the avocado and if you don’t like haloumi, you could try provolone or kasseri. This was a quick lunch for moi so the portion size is fairly cat-sized. Double or triple for boys or hungry humans.
- Haloumi Cheese (approx half a block)
- 1/2 a bunch of asparagus
- One large handful of green beans
- A few handfuls of baby spinach
- 1/2 a lemon
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Tetsuya’s Truffle Salt (optional)
- Boil some water and cut the ends off the asparagus. Top and tail the green beans. Once the water is bubbling, boil the beans and asparagus until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop them becoming soggy. Leave these to the side to cool slightly.
- Wash the spinach and prepare in a large, deep bowl. Add the beans and asparagus once they have cooled.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan on high. Once hot enough, add the haloumi and fry both sides until golden. Drain on some kitchen paper or a serviette. Add this on top of the salad once the oil has blotted away.
- Slice the avocado and place on top.
I like to whip up experimental vinaigrettes, and have found that any number of weird and wonderful surprise ingredients can really make a boring salad more interesting. In this case, Tetsuya’s Truffle Salt is the perfect addition.
Pour a little olive oil into a jar. Add to this a squeeze of lemon and balsamic vinaigrette and season with pepper and the truffle salt. If you don’t have any of the truffle salt, ground sea salt or pink rock salt would do nicely too. Sprinkle your dressing over the salad and enjoy with a good book out in the sun, or a glass of sauvignon blanc.