Spiced Halloumi on a Warm Puy Lentil, Spinach and Beetroot Salad

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Catchy title huh!

I love this recipe from Denis Cotter’s ‘For the Love of Food’. I’ve made it before. And it is consistently good – mainly because it is so simple. There’s very little ‘doing’ in this recipe – most of the time is spent roasting the beetroot!

I feel a little bit like Old Mother Hubbard this week. All my cupboards are bare. Everything is packed ready for the move onto the boat – and basic ingredients like flour are nowhere to be seen! Pretty frustrating – but fortunately I had all the ingredients for this dish in the fridge (except 100ml of red wine which I pinched from Freya’s mum!) I say pinched – I did pay for the wine with a serving of the dinner – so it was a fair trade.

The hardest part of this recipe is peeling a beetroot and slicing it into wedges. You just can’t keep your hands clean unless you wear some latex gloves.

Anyway – to make this you peel and wedge a beetroot – toss in some balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil and roast (I did mine in my only remaining oven – the Halogen oven) until they begin to caramelise. It took about 30 mins.

While you’re waiting, cook some lentils in red wine and stock (with some garlic and thyme) until they are cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

While you’re waiting for this, crush some red chilli with some cumin seeds and lime zest/juice; slice some Halloumi, and chop a spring onion or two.

When everything is ready, add the beetroot and the spring onion to the the lentils – and allow to start cooling.

Then fry your Halloumi until it is golden and rub some of your chilli rub into it. Then serve the lentils on a bed of spinach and add the halloumi on top.

This is incredibly easy – and tastes amazing. It’s one of my top five dishes. Consistently good. You can’t get it wrong and it is a very well balanced meal.

 

Figs with Halloumi

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Saved by the Figs!

You will find a rendition of this dish in almost every Middle Eastern cookery book. Figs and Halloumi are made for each other and this version is as good as any I’ve had previously.

The winning formula – so prevalent in Ottolenghi’s books – of leaves, nuts, fruit and cheese – works every time. In this dish it is Rocket, Pistachios, Halloumi and Figs.

We would eat this sort of dish every day. It is really satisfying.

The dressing works well too if you follow it to the letter – but I guess not many people have Raspberry vinegar (souschef.co.uk sell it).

A wonderfully simple dish from Veggiestan by Sally Butcher

There’s an amusingly seductive tone for the recipe of this dish. You need to play some sexy music on your Hi-Fi – get the candles out – throw this together – and expect your evening to go very well. That said, I’ve had a lot of Dates (see previous recipe) – I think my chances are slim!