Tag Archives: halloumi

Halloumi, Plum tomato, Mixed Greens and Baby Spinach Salad, and a Mustard Dressing

salad-with-plum-tomatoes-and-halloumi-9112I can’t believe that it’s September already, and I’ve not written anything on C&T since the start of August. There were quite a number of reasons for this – one of which is that frankly I haven’t been trying new recipes or doing any baking. (I feel an updated Coffee Date post is on the horizon…)

Although this blog is practically here to profess my love for the kitchen, our summer months here in the Med are too much, as in there’s way too much heat and humidity in the air already. My adding to it in the house is no help at all. So I’m taking a break.

However this won’t last long now – I know I have to get back into the swing of things very soon, so this simple salad is a good way to start.

Continue reading Halloumi, Plum tomato, Mixed Greens and Baby Spinach Salad, and a Mustard Dressing

Picnic Pasta Salad and a Special #PastaFriday Event

Picnic Pasta (8117)So last Friday I announced that I’ll be posting a pasta recipe every week. Today I’ve decided to make it an event. Why not?! So if you are a food blogger and you love pasta, this can be the space for you. To participate in this weekly event, on a Friday or during the weekend, I invite you to write a post on your blog accompanied of course by a pasta recipe. What you need to do next is very simple:

  1. Include a link to your post in a comment on my post for that week.
  2. Include a link to my post in your own blog post. Don’t reblog the post. A simple link will do.
  3. If you use Twitter promote your post with #PastaFriday so everyone will be able to see it.

Easy. This event will run up to October 2nd, at least for the time being.

Now onto this recipe which I have promised you ages ago but never got round to it. It’s an off-the-cuff one simply because everyone does pasta salad differently. Everyone comes up with many variants most of the time. I have to be honest here: there has been a time (I suspect that it’s not over) that this became one of my regular go-to suppers as it’s easy to prepare and good for transport. Also it’s a good one for making use of things I just want to use up. I open the fridge and voila you have a meal. I have made it during these hot months for friends coming at the house at the last minute, especially during those intermittent weeks where I skipped my otherwise regular grocery shop.

Continue reading Picnic Pasta Salad and a Special #PastaFriday Event

Warm Rice Salad with Halloumi

Warm Rice Salad with Halloumi (6576)

I have a recurring dream. A warm Spring evening, a quiet beach, clear blue sea, a deckchair, plenty of fresh ice cold water and a cocktail. Nothing big really. Just a little peace and quiet. J says “in your dreams” and he’s right: the image will stay there though – at least for the time being. Of course the scene would not be complete without something good to eat.

Recreating the dream is difficult, especially when you’re living in a one bedroom flat miles away from the water, but cooking an easy lunch takes no more than thirty minutes. I tend to eat this sort of meal when I am alone, but lately I have been making this quite frequently. There are loads of good things to say about a salad: one, you can include/exclude any ingredient you like; two, you don’t really need to go to the shops for one specific item, and three, you can easily increase the quantities according to the number of people you want to feed. At this point you will probably protest: does one really have halloumi as a stand-by? Not usually no, but I must admit I do buy it often. As well as its salty taste, it doesn’t melt in a hot pan. Don’t think about adding it to a pizza instead of mozzarella then, but it found a place here, and it is certainly well-deserved.

Serves 2-4

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • around 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional, but I love the colour)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms, roughly sliced
  • 100g fresh spinach, washed and left whole
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 large vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 150g Cypriot halloumi, cubed
  • juice of half a small lemon

Wash the rice underneath cold running water until the water is clear. (Another option would be to put the rice in a pan and add around a tablespoon of vegetable oil and let the rice heat up while stirring it. Then you can add the water as usual.) Place the rice in a pan, cover it with the cold water, add the turmeric, put it on the hob on medium heat. When it starts to bubble away, decrease the heat to minimum (if using a gas cooker) and let it absorb all the water till it is tender. If using an electric cooker like me, switch off the ring on which you are cooking the rice, and let the rice cook by absorption.

Heat a large shallow pan, pour in the olive oil, and tip in the garlic, spring onions and garam masala. You can substitute this with mixed spice if you wish. After a couple of minutes add the chesnut mushrooms and spinach, salt and pepper, and cover the pan to let the spinach wilt. I don’t like to cook the mushrooms too much, but this is totally up to you. When the spinach has drastically decreased in volume, add the tomatoes and the halloumi. Stir everything together and switch the heat off.

When the rice is completely cooked, fluff it with a fork. Add it to the salad mixture, give everything a good mix, add the lemon juice, taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Serve either immediately, or take it with you to the beach, or to the garden with a book and a glass of white…It’s your choice.

If you want to bulk up the recipe, you could add cooked chickpeas to the lot.

Enjoy!

Rob x