It's been rather hot in England. We're accustomed to spending our summers complaining about intermittent rain, so this year, everyone complaining about a sudden heatwave has been something of a shock to the system. (And it really was sudden: one day we were wondering why we still needed the heating on in July, and the next we were watching the shops sell out of paddling pools and air-conditioning units.)
In weather like this, the order of the day is to eat outside with a huge plate of fresh salad and a chilled glass of wine. Under the parasol, of course... we wouldn't want to risk exposing our delicate British skin to too much actual sunshine.
This is a new salad for me, inspired by a friend's description of a dish she'd recently enjoyed. I had to reconstruct a plausible recipe, and I made a few tweaks to suit the ingredients I had to hand, but this is going straight onto my list of all-time favourite salads. The just-slightly-warm vegetables, the tangy halloumi, and the bright citrus dressing all combine to something quite wonderful.
I was recently sent some Domaine des Ratelles Muscadet wine to sample, and its crisp dry taste was perfect for summer drinking. The sharp flavours of the wine were nicely complimented by the acidity of the lime dressing and the peppery watercress and rocket. Along with warm bread rolls straight from the oven, this was a perfect summer lunch. The leftovers were also fantastic to eat cold, the next day.
Served without the bread (or wine!) this salad comes in at about 400 calories per person. You can cut it down further, to about 320, by using low-fat halloumi.
Warm Halloumi Salad Recipe
Quantities per person:
juice of ½ lime
1tbsp olive oil
40g fine green beans
40g asparagus spears
25g edamame beans
40g mixed salad leaves (I used rocket, baby spinach, and watercress)
a few stalks of coriander
plus an extra wedge of lime to serve
- Cut the halloumi into large cubes (about 1 inch) and marinade in a mixture of lime juice and olive oil.
- When you're ready to eat, heat up a frying pan and add the halloumi. You can use quite a high heat to sear the cheese, just keep turning it occasionally. It will look like nothing is happening, for ages, and then you'll suddenly get the gorgeous crispy crust.
- Steam the green beans for a couple of minutes, add the asparagus, steam for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add the edamame beans to the steamer, and steam for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange the salad leaves in a large bowl or medium plate, and sprinkle with a generous helping of coriander.
- Add the freshly-cooked vegetables from the steamer, then top with the fried halloumi.
- Serve with a wedge of lime, fresh baked bread, and a glass of dry white wine.
|The theme for this month's No Croutons Required soup & salad challenge is legumes, so I'm offering this salad as my entry for this month.|