Friday, December 9, 2011

Cucumber & Balsamic Salad

 I find it astonishing how many people think garden salads are the be all and end all of salads. This is simply not true. There are so many types of salads, from cold to warm, from vegetarian to meaty that salads cannot be categorised as simply as one would like.

This salad, in part, needs to be cooked first before it can be completed. This, of course, is the Haloumi component, and altogether it is served cold – turning ideas and ideals on their head I must confess.

All in all this is a simple, yet flavour wise quite complex, salad that is quite easy to throw together and compliments a great range of dishes, my personal favourite being lamb due to the bitterness which is a brilliant contrast to the natural sweetness of lamb flesh.

What Will I Need?

2 Lebanese Cucumbers
1 Red Onion
2 Tomatoes
2 tbs Dried Mint
150g Haloumi Cheese, diced
2 tbs Balsamic vVinegar
2 tbs Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Fresh Mint, to serve
What Now?

1.         Bring your fry pan to a high heat, and then add your haloumi cubes – do not add oil as haloumi already has enough natural oil to prevent sticking.

2.         Stir or swirl the haloumi regularly to until all sides have turned golden, for five minutes or so.

3.         Set the cooked haloumi aside and allow to cool whilst you prepare the rest of your salad.

4.         Dice both the tomato and cucumber into small cubes. When I say small cubes, I mean about 1cm or less, no larger than that. Add the tomato and cucumber to your salad bowl.

5.         With the onion, I halve the onion, then thinly slice it, then cut it into quarters – a bit extreme but it works perfectly for this salad – add this to the tomato and cucumber.

6.         In a small jar, add the dried Mint, Balsamic, Olive Oil, and minced garlic and give it all a good shake.

7.         Now, add the haloumi to the tomato, cucumber and onion, and mix until combined.

8.         Next, add the Balsamic dressing and stir through.

9.         Garnish with a few leaves of fresh mint, and serve with some Greek styled lamb chops or cutlets as an alternative to the traditional Greek Salad!