Warm squash and haloumi salad

Haloumi winter salad

This truly is an easy peasy dish I promise! The winter is probably when the last thing you would want is a salad for dinner, but this really is comfort food…and its healthy too! This is served warm so it doesn’t really count as a salad anyway. This time of year there are so many types of root vegetables around, and simply roasting them in oil and salt and pepper makes them delicious and soft just as they are. You could also blend the veg with stock after roasting to make a creamy soup. However, this combination of gooey haloumi and crunchy pomegranate makes a great veggie dinner or side dish. If you have any left (doubtful) you can also serve it cold for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:

(serves 2 with leftovers for lunch!)

1 large or 2 small squash
1 pack of haloumi
1 bag spinach
1 pomegranate
2 tbsp pine nuts
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper

For the dressing…

2 large bunches of fresh basil
1 lemon (juice)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate mollases
1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey)
pinch of salt

What to do…

Heat your oven to 180 degrees. Line 2 baking trays with tin foil. Using a very sharp knife or a very strong man (or both!), chop your squash widthways into 1-2cm rounds. Discard the top and bottom of the squash. Slice each round in half, remove and seeds and slice off the skin.

Spread the squash between the two trays, drizzle over both the coconut and olive oils, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the heated oven for 40 minutes, until the squash is starting to brown. You will need to check them as they cook and turn the squash over half way through.

While cooking, prepare the dressing. In a blender combine the basil (reserve a few leaves for garnish) the olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until completely smooth. If you do not have a blender, chop the basil very finely and use a pestle and mortar to release the flavour from it into the oil. Transfer your basil mix into a jar or container and add the pomegranate molasses and agave (or honey), ass this gradually and adjust the quantities according to your taste, I like it quite bitter.

Place a frying pan on medium heat, add the pine nuts to the pan to gently toast, keep staring them to allow them to brown all over. This should only take a couple of minutes. Place in a bowl to one side.

Slice the pommegrate in half, and over a bowl squeeze out the juice and all the seeds.

Prepare your haloumi 10 minutes before your squash is cooked. Chop your haloumi into 1-2cm thick slices. In the same pan fry the cheese for about 3-4 minutes before turning over. Keep turning the haloumi at 3 minute intervals until it is golden brown on both sides.

Remove your squash from the oven.

On a serving plate place the washed spinach, then add the squash, haloumi and sprinkle with pommegrate seeds, toasted pine nuts and a big glug of the basil dressing.

Serve in the middle of the table and help yourselves to your cosy winter salad.

tbc x

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