This is a Mediterranean-style salad that is served with warm vegetables and toasted halloumi cheese. This variety of cheese originated in Cyprus and features in Middle Eastern, Greek and Cypriot cuisines. If you have not already tasted halloumi, it tastes very similar to paneer (Indian cottage cheese). With a simple mix of vegetables and cheese, this salad works well as a side for your main meal.
Note: If you do can’t get halloumi cheese, replace it with firm paneer.
- Broccoli – 10 florets (blanched)
- Cherry tomatoes – 7 (halved)
- Onions – ½ thinly sliced
- Cucumber – 1, cut into chunks
- Green olives (pitted) – 1 tblspn
- Garlic – 2 pods finely chopped
- Salad dressing (anything of your choice, I used balsamic vinegar) – 1 tblspn
- Halloumi cheese – 2 medium sized cubes
- Chilli flakes – ¼ tspn
- Cracked black pepper – To season
- Salt – To season
- Oil – 1 tblspn
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Place the halved cherry tomatoes (skin-side down) on the hot oil; add garlic and let it cook in low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. The idea is to soften tomato slightly and to cook the garlic.
- Remove the cooked tomatoes & garlic. Place the halloumi cheese in the same oil and toast all the sides till it slightly browns.
- In a bowl, add the blanched broccoli florets, onion, cucumber, olives, cooked tomatoes and garlic.
Re-purpose the oil you used to cook the tomatoes and drizzle it on the vegetables. This way the oil will have the flavour of the garlic as well.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and season the salad with salt and pepper. Combine the ingredients.
- Serve it with the toasted cheese chunks on the side.
- This makes a lovely salad to eat with pita bread or pita chips.
- If garlic or chilli flakes don’t appeal to you in a salad, avoid them.
- Replace green olives with the black ones, if you prefer.