It's been a wee while since my last post - not because I haven't been cooking anything new, but because every time I do, I don't feel I've got it quite right, so I want to work on the recipe before posting it! The weather has definitely improved since I last posted, which is perhaps why I've been making a lot more salads and light meals. Some salads are boring, tired, lifeless things that would put you off lettuce for life, but if they're done right, salads can be just as exciting and interesting as any other meal - sometimes more so. Still, I am sometimes put off ordering a salad when I go out to eat, just in case I get a plate of bagged lettuce with some cheese sprinkled on top and then (to add insult to injury) have to pay for it! That's why it can be better to make your own salads at home. That way you know it's going to be delicious, and you can get as creative as you like.
The salad I'm going to share with you today couldn't be simpler to prepare, but is bursting with flavour, and is really good and filling. It can easily be taken into work/school for a packed lunch, too, which makes it even more of a winner in my book. Of course, it contains one of my all-time favourite ingredients, halloumi, so if you like halloumi as much as I do, I guarantee you'll love this recipe. Broad beans are an ingredient I had never really used much before, but I'm finding that a bag of frozen broad beans can be a great freezer staple to have on hand, so I'm glad that this recipe showcases them. And with the winter frosts all in the past, I have mint growing in my garden again, and I found that it was the perfect addition to this salad to take it from good to great. If you wanted to, you could add some sweetcorn or maybe diced red pepper to this, but really, I haven't felt the need to do this yet, as it's really good just as it is! If you don't have a griddle pan, you can either grill or fry the halloumi; I just like to griddle for the pretty lines it gives the halloumi.
Halloumi and Broad Bean Salad
250g frozen broad beans
200g halloumi cheese
a little oil, for brushing
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of fresh mint, torn
Pre-heat the griddle pan over a high heat. Cook the broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and peel off the beans' outer skin, if desired (I can't usually be bothered to do this!) Run cold water over the beans to cool them down, and set aside.
Meanwhile, slice the halloumi length-wise, and brush each strip with a little oil. Place the strips on the griddle pan and cook until the undersides have medium-dark lines from the pan. Turn over and cook on the other side until they also have the same lines (see how nice and professional the cheese looks now?!).
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together. Place the broad beans in a serving bowl and add the halloumi. Drizzle over the dressing, toss, and finally garnish with the mint.