Having some haloumi calling my name from the cheese drawer of the fridge, I decided to whip up something new with it, and to give it a run in a meal aside from at the beginning of the day or the end of a night.
The result was a delicious, colourful salad with golden, salty, squeeky slabs of haloumi, and a side of sweet, peppery, juciy lamb.
You could definitely have this salad as a stand-alone meal.
Haloumi & bourghal salad
1/2 cup bourghal
1 cup mint, finely chopped
2 cups flat-leaf parsley, chopped
300g cherry tomatoes, halved – using different varieties makes the salad even more jazzy and colourful – we used yellow pear, mini Roma, orange surprise
1 red capsicum, quartered lengthways, seeds removed
2 small zucchini, cut into rounds about 3mm thick
2 shallots, finely sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sumac
salt & pepper
300g haloumi, cut into 5mm-thick slices
Place boughal in a medium-sized bowl and cover with hot water to an inch above. Set aside to soak for 10-15 minutes, until softened. Once soft, place in a colander to drain and squeeze ANY last drop of water from it. Sloppy wet boughal salads are dire.
Grill or roast capsicum skin-side down until the skin blackens. Place in a plastic container or bag and leave for 5 minutes to sweat. Once cooled, remove and discard the skin, and thinly slice capsicum.
Grill the zucchini and set aside.
Combine mint, parlsey, shallots, cherry tomatoes, capsicum and zucchini in a large bowl.
Combine lemon juice, olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper to taste. Mix will.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add haloumi slices and cook for a few minutes on each side, until starting to turn golden.
Add haloumi and dressing to salad, toss well and serve immediately so haloumi is nice and hot and dreamy!
NB: We had better success with frying the haloumi rather than grilling it (note the image – we started out grilling them then moved them to a pan). It enabled a more even, delightfully golden haloumi slice.
Peppered Lamb Backstrap
400g lamb backstrap
3 tablespoons coarsley-ground mixed peppercorns
a little olive oil
Spread peppercorns over a plate. Rub backstrap with a little olive oil all over, then roll in peppercorns to evenly coat.
Heat a little oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add backstrap, reduce heat to medium, and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. The meat should be a little on the underdone side, as it will continue to cook after being removed from the heat. Remove from heat and wrap in foil to settle for 5 minutes before slicing thinly and serving.
…Kind of a deconstructed fancy take on a lamb and haloumi kebab.