About this recipe:Halloumi is a firm-textured Cypriot cheese that's delicious char-grilled. Here it's served with red onions on a bed of soft salad leaves, then drizzled with a hot dressing. Serve with good seeded crusty bread.
2½ tbsp olive oil, or oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
10 sun-blush or sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
12 stoned black olives, rinsed
250g halloumi cheese, cut into 1cm thick slices
75g baby spinach leaves
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:10min › Ready in:25min
Whisk together 2 tbsp of the oil and the lemon juice in a bowl. Put the onion wedges in another bowl, drizzle over 1 tbsp of this dressing and toss to coat. Set aside. Stir the garlic into the remaining dressing, then add the tomatoes and olives. Mix well and leave to marinate briefly.
Heat a cast-iron, ridged griddle pan over a moderate heat, then brush with the remaining ½ tbsp oil. Add the onion wedges and cook for 3–4 minutes until nicely browned on the underside. Turn the onion wedges over with a palette knife, then put the cheese slices onto the pan. Increase the heat a little and cook the onion wedges for a further 3 minutes and the cheese for 1½ minutes on each side until tinged with brown and just beginning to melt at the edges. (Alternatively, cook the onions and cheese on a sheet of foil under a medium grill.)
While the onion and cheese are cooking, mix the spinach leaves and rocket together in a wide salad bowl. Leave in the bowl or serve onto individual salad plates. Arrange the onion wedges and cheese on top.
Tip the tomato mixture onto the hot griddle and stir for a just a few seconds until hot and steaming. Spoon over the cheese and salad leaves and serve.
Instead of onion wedges, cut a small aubergine into 1cm slices and brush with 1 tbsp of the dressing. Char-grill or grill the slices for 7–8 minutes on each side (it may be necessary to do this in 2 batches), and keep warm while cooking the cheese. Scatter with a few toasted pine nuts before serving.
Halloumi cheese will toughen if allowed to cool, so it's important to serve as quickly as possible. If your pan isn't large enough to fit both the onion wedges and cheese slices together, cook the onion first, then pile at the edge of the pan while cooking the cheese.
Yummy and simple - I love halloumi! I used baby gem lettuce, as I didn't want the salad to wilt, and garnished with coarsley chopped flat leaf parsley. The halloumi was a little salty, so I squeezed some fresh lemon juice over the whole salad before serving. - 01 Dec 2010