Monday, 3 June 2013

Italian Bean and Tomato Salad with Halloumi

The evenings are getting lighter and sunnier, which for me means two things - white wine consumption has gone up by at least 50%, and the stews and soups of winter have been replaced by salads. However, I'm training for my first 10k run at the moment after months without any exercise whatsoever, and my body is so alarmed by this sudden activity that I'm absolutely bloody starving all the time.

This halloumi salad was perfect this evening when I came home from a run feeling like I could eat a bear (a vegetarian bear obviously), as it's refreshing and summery while still being substantial and filling.

Serves 2-3

What you need

A 225g block of halloumi cheese
A 400g tin of butter beans
200g small tomatoes (e.g. cherry or baby plum)
A large handful of fresh basil leaves
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
A pinch of chilli flakes
salt and pepper
A tortilla wrap per person (optional)

What to do

First make the bean and tomato salad. Empty the beans into a largish bowl and rinse off all the gungy can water. Next, blanch the tomatoes - cut a small cross shape in the base of each one, cover with boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunge into cold water. The skins should then slip off really easily. Chop roughly into chunks and de-seed if you prefer. Add in with the beans.

For the dressing, roughly tear the basil leaves and add to the bean and tomato mix, before adding the olive oil, red wine vinegar, chilli flakes, garlic, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir then refrigerate while you sort out the halloumi. It wants to be in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to allow all the flavours to mingle, so no rush.

Cut the halloumi into thick slices then either place under the grill or fry, as you prefer. I tend to grill them as then I'm not having to add extra fat to fry in and the heat's a bit more even.

Pile the bean salad on top of a tortilla wrap if using, then add the cooked halloumi.


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