I am keeping it light and fresh for the first post of the new year with this delicious Grilled Haloumi Couscous Salad. After the last week or so with all its festivities and celebrations I am sure we are all craving healthy food but certainly not bland celery stick diet food type of healthy food.
I spent the festive season in Beirut and have returned to Cape Town telling all who want to hear (or not) about this incredible city with its wonderful people and fantastic food. It was a Christmas lunch to remember this year as we had lunch at Chez Maguy in Batroun, about 60 km north of Beirut on the Mediterranean coast. The restaurant is practically on the sea and we dined on freshly caught seafood, grilled on the barbecue and each dish brought to the table as it was cooked. Added to that was local craft beer, delicious roasted eggplant salad, famous Lebanese Taboulleh and the most incredible view on a warm sunny winter’s day making it a lunch to remember for years to come.
A few recipes have come back with me and I can’t wait to start making some of my favourite dishes of the trip and to share them on the blog.
But back to this yummy salad.
This summery salad is packed with flavour, texture and a zesty lemon dressing to counteract the salty blandness of the Haloumi cheese. The salad is best served with the Haloumi still hot so prepare all the other ingredients beforehand and fry the cheese just before you want to serve it.
A perfect meat free Monday meal or I think a juicy roast chicken will be such a tasty combination with this salad. You could replace the couscous with quinoa as well.
A very happy 2015 to everyone and I am so looking forward to a year of cooking and eating with all of you. This is also going to be the year of video so watch this space!
- 400g baby tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
- 1 chili, chopped (optional) (deseeded or not depending on your preference)
- olive oil for drizzling
- 1 cup uncooked couscous
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 300g baby spinach leaves
- 3 salad onions, sliced
- 350g haloumi cheese, sliced
- olive oil for drizzling
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs chopped parsley
- zest of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
- Place the tomatoes, garlic and chili in a roasting dish.
- Drizzle with some olive oil and roast for 30 minutes until the skins of the tomatoes are blistered. Remove the garlic and left over juice/oil in the pan and set aside for the dressing.
- Combine the couscous, salt and boiling water in a bowl and cover with cling wrap.
- Let it stand for 15 minutes and loosen with a fork. Set aside.
- Combine the couscous, tomatoes, avo, spinach and salad onions in a large salad bowl.
- Mash the garlic and combine with the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, zest and juice/oil from the roasted tomatoes. Mix until well combined.
- Drizzle the haloumi cheese slices lightly with oil to just coat them and fry the haloumi until golden brown on both sides in a non stick pan.
- Place the haloumi on top of the salad and drizzle with the dressing.
- Serve immediately