Following on from the Cyprus Halloumi Festival where food blogger Eleni Georges led the cooking demonstrations, she shares a delicious recipe from her blog My Family Food Diary for you to try at home using the popular Cypriot cheese.
¾ cup (150 g) brown lentils, cleaned and washed
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable stock
¼ cup lemon juice
2 bay leaves
½ large fennel bulb, washed and thinly sliced
120 g rocket, washed and dried
1 block of halloumi, cut in 8-10 slices (the block I used weighed 225 g)
½ punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, washed and roughly chopped
¼ cup pecans, halved
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1. Use a kettle to boil 1.5 litres of water. Add the brown lentils in a heat proof bowl with enough of the boiling water to cover them completely and let them cook for 15 minutes. This way it will get rid of the ‘dirty/soil’ flavour they have also.
2. Meanwhile, you may start washing the vegetables needed and preparing the dressing.
3. After that time, rinse and strain the lentils well. Add the rest of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil before adding the lentils. Allow it to cook for 20-25 minuets depending on the texture you prefer. Personally I prefer them to be crunchy so I let them cook for 20 minutes.
4. Remove any foam that may form using a slotted spoon. Once they are cooked, pour out the liquid using a colander, but avoid rinsing the lentils with water so that the flavour doesn’t wash away. Let it cool down in the colander before adding it to the salad.
1. Wash and chop all the ingredients needed. The halloumi should be fried last, once every other component has been prepared and assembled.
2. To fry the halloumi, use a non-stick frying pan and dry fry it on a high heat. By not adding any oil I find that there is a better, more even colouration on the halloumi slices. It only takes 2 minutes on either side, watch over it so it doesn’t burn.
Whisk all the ingredients together, drizzle on top of the salad once all the components have been assembled and toss it all together before serving.
* I haven’t tried this recipe with canned lentils but I can’t see why not. The flavour will be different and to boost it you might want to bring them to a boil using the ingredients. However they won’t need too long to boil as they are already cooked.
* Be mindful of the amount of salt you add in the dressing because the halloumi could also be quite salty. It might be best to season in the end after you’ve tasted the whole salad.
* This recipe is courtesy of Eleni Georges from My Family Food Blog. For more, visit myfamilysfooddiary.com