“Summer is a reward for the rest of the year…..Summer’s produce comes in big and loud and fun and full of boisterous colour. It is a season of not holding back: those snazzy reds and bright yellows and bold oranges and deep purples and big, rich greens. It is the season forever tied to leisure and joy and simplicity.” -Excerpt from Summer, Vibrant Foods by Kimberly Hassel brink.
Temperature has soured up in the UK these days and while my English friends are loving it, I roam around like a cat on a hot tin roof. Just had a big tub of cold coffee in the morning and melon and mangoes for lunch. I know its fatty and sugary, but am always so thirsty and my body needs sugar to function. But anyway, I love Summer time because of the variety of “healthier” food I can enjoy! Specially juicy fruits, instead of hot sugary drinks.
I first discovered this combination of strawberry and Grilled Halloumi salad at an English Tea Party our neighbours organised last week. And instantly fell in love with it. Prior to that , I only had had Halloumi in Nandos’s grilled wraps. So when we decided on having a Summer BBQ party with friends, I had to include a salad with grilled halloumi! A simple marinade a fresh grilled fruit bring a brightness to the salty yet mild flavor of halloumi.
I had heard that Strawberries and feta is more or less a classic combination, but personally I think it works better with Halloumi. It is slightly squeaky flavoured like other fresh cheeses, and is typically prepared either grilled or baked. I know cheese is fatty and halloumi is no exception but because it has so much flavor you really don’t need that much to put into your strawberry and tomato salad. Use a little sweet balsamico as a dressing and you’re good to go! Perfect for a hot summer day…!
I left out the spring onion. It was simply too much and didn’t add anything nice to the flavour combination, some unneeded pungent flavour at the most. Black pepper, however, was the perfect companion to cheese and strawberries. It’s a staple with olive oil, too. Definitely a keeper.
I managed to get some wild strawberries from a berry farm near Henley. Wild strawberries are early this year, thanks to that hot weather I already complained about. With their intense and sweet taste, wild strawberries were perfect with strong-flavoured and salty halloumi. Go for it, if you are struggling with the Hot weather like me 🙂
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes
Serves: 2-4 people
Cuisine:– Across the World
Spice Level: Sour, fruity, sweet
Recipe Level: Easy
Shelf Life: Up to an hour at Room temperature, up to 12 hours in the fridge.
Serving Suggestion: With Soup or on its own, with BBQ or drinks
Nutritional Facts:– rich in anti-oxidants, calcium, fat and minerals.
What you need?
- 150 gr strawberries – about 1 1/2 cup
- 100 gr grapes , red or black variety suits best
- 75 gr Halloumi cheese
- A handful of almonds, broken
- Balsamic vinegar to drizzle, optional
- Any herb like mint, coriander or parsley to garnish
- 1 tbsp of Olive oil, to shallow fry Halloumi
- Juice from a lemon or lime
How to make?
- Wash the strawberries and cut them into pieces.
- Cut the halloumi into little squares. Heat some Oil oil into a frying pan and put the pieces of halloumi in it once it is hot and shallow fry them golden brown. Be careful as it tends to spatter a bit.
- Once all done, leave the halloumi to drain on kitchen towel. Put the strawberries and grapes into a large bowl and add the halloumi in.
- Sprinkle some broken almonds and herb leaves on top, drizzle with some lemon/lime juice OR balsamic vinegar and enjoy!
Tips for variation:
- Vegan or dairy-free version of the salad is easy to make by replacing cheese with avocado or tofu. Also some cheese-type vegan products are worth trying. Avocado makes also a great addition to the halloumi version, it gives more richness and softens the intense flavors. It also makes the salad more filling, which is welcome if you serve the salad as main dish.
- For parties you can serve the salad as a snack on cocktail sticks. On each stick, put a cube of grilled or fried halloumi, a piece of strawberry and a piece of lettuce leave. Top with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Spoons are also great for serving these savouries, the olive oil doesn’t escape from them.
- In case you cannot get halloumi or other cheese suitable for grilling, the following types of cheese are also great (naturally without grilling or frying, just cubed): aged Gouda cheese, Swiss cheese, Havarti or any sharp flavoured processed cheese. I didn’t have a chance to try American cheese, but would be interesting to know how it suits this salad.
- You may also add Cherry tomatoes to this Salad, I dont like eating tomatoes raw hence didn’t add to it.
Linked to Breakfast Recipes event running @ Cooking for all seasons.