Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beetroot, Squash and Halloumi with Chili-Herb Dressing


I found this amazing salad recipe on a British website called Food Stories. I wanted to try something different for dinner last Friday. This salad had such an unusual combination of flavors, and they sang loudly and in perfect harmony in my mouth! The roasted savoriness of the beetroot and squash plus the salty and bouncy textured halloumi plus the tartness of lemon and the mint contrasting with the fresh hot chili--whew! I almost had to have a cigarette when I was finished.

The only remotely exotic ingredient was halloumi cheese, which can be found at Nick's Produce on Broad Street. Halloumi is weird! You can cut it into slabs and fry it in a dry pan, and it gets browned and crispy all over the outside and soft on the inside, and it retains its shape. It's kind of like paneer, the Indian cheese, but it's salty tasting. What a brilliant addition to a salad! Yum.

And don't tell anybody, but I tiptoed across the street and pilfered some fresh mint from the front yard of Debra, my unsuspecting dear friend.

Also, I could not find the kind of sunflower seeds I wanted, so I went with roasted pumpkin seeds instead. They were just as delicious. I will definitely make this again, and I can imagine serving it with couscous. Doesn't that sound good?

So thank you, Helen Graves, for bringing this new orgasmic salad to my world.

13 comments:

CallmeLorna2 said...

Okay, we're just going to start coming to your house for dinner every night. You cook much healthier and so much more interesting food than I do (when I do which of late is well, never) and it's so much prettier! I'm in awe of your culinary imagery!!! It sure was swell to see you and Mr. Cleveland at Nan's. Will you be able to make it to Eurydice?

Janine Serresseque said...

La, I bow to your culinary accumen. Am I even spelling and using "accumen" correctly? Oh, chiffonade, who the hell knows? Anyhoo, Andy and I are coming to Eurydice on Sunday! I got my tickies today, and it's a good thing I did. I hear it's selling like mad. See you then!
Ja

Helen said...

Ah, thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed my salad. I also laughed out loud when you said you pilfered some mint from your friends garden!

pnlkotula said...

I seem to recall a promise of a "quintessential" posting somewhere in the recesses of my wine-drenched memory...

Janine Serresseque said...

Lisa, honey. It's "quinticentennial" and it's rolling around in my brain. Soon. XOXOX

pnlkotula said...

I know, I just recall my mouth getting ahead of my brain when we were talking about it...

Alex said...

So did you bring in a teeny tiny sample for me? I have some eggplant curry to swap.

JB said...

This looks amazing - must try the new cheese please tell me there is no curry in it?

Jacquie said...

Dear sweet Jesus. We must have a potluck soon. I will bring the spinach dip and the wine and all of you real cooks will bring some of this amazing stuff you have been cooking. Honestly, I can't even look at your website or JB's before lunch.

And Alex...EGGPLANT curry!!! Only my favorite food...I will risk cooking if it's got eggplant in it. Will you send it on to Janine?

debra said...

That whole front lot is a hellish mess. Any "pruning" you do of the mint is always fine by me!

That looks so good. I've actually had Halloumi cheese before. Joseph Papa fried some up at a soiree of his one time. Yum. Yum....

Alex said...

the eggplant curry recipe came out of this book.
Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott

I tried to find one on line but they are all too complicated with lots of ingredients.
basically
put oil in you med hot pan (wok)
add diced onion and garlic cook about 2 minutes
add diced (1 in ) eggplant, I use 4 japanese, about 7 min
mix in 1 tablespoon red OR green thai curry paste (really mix it in)
I can coconut milk cook down
add in diced red pepper cook 2 more minutes

serve with rice

that was from memory can you trust it, 18 months to go before my 500.

Jacquie said...

Thanks so much Alex. Kitchen mess here I come!

Alex said...

okay, the halloumi is completely NOT necessary.

YUM. thanks J.