I love fried Halloumi. Do you know the kind of people who overeat things they like/love & develop an aversion towards it?? Yes, I belong to that category. So Halloumi was in that category for a while :).
Until I came to the UK I did not know much about different types of cheese… I knew a little from the tv shows I watched on travel n living.. I knew people grew fungi on some to savour certain kinds of cheese.. Frying cheese, not heard of that till K told me about it! Halloumi originated in Cyprus.. You got to try it.. The aroma of frying halloumi is just tantalising!
I had bought a packet over the weekend as it was long. I wanted to try something new this time. I always end up frying the Halloumi pieces & eating them along with a glass of wine or beer. Wanted a salad.. something really colourful & filling. So fixed this salad up. Wanted a simple & light dressing (as I was already eating fried Halloumi, so no Mayo or no heavy salad dressings). Its quick & simple, once you have the ingredients around you.
There was a task ahead of me, K has been postponing eating salads every time I ask him if he would eat one. He likes eating salads, I know you would think I make horrible salads, that’s the reason. Hell no. I never got down to asking him why though. I think, it’s time to ask the question…WHY? He likes Halloumi, so knew this would be a perfect way to make him eat a long pending salad.
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Pasta – 1 cup, uncooked, any shape of your choice
Plum/Cherry tomatoes – 6-8, each cut into 2
Rocket leaves – a handful
Garlic – 1-2 cloves, finely chopped
Black Kalamata olives – 6, cut into thin rings
Halloumi cheese – 1 inch piece of a 225g packet
Black pepper – freshly crushed, use as per your taste
Red wine vinegar – 1 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive oil – 1 tbsp or more
Basil – 4-5 leaves, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cook the Pasta as per the instructions. Use the cooking oil while cooking the pasta. Add some salt to the pasta while its cooking. When the pasta is cooking cut the veggies.
Cut the halloumi cheese into thin slices. Then further chop them into small bits or crumble them with your hands. Heat a fry pan. Set the heat to medium. Fry the halloumi bits, till they turn golden brown. Add the garlic just about 30s before you turn the heat off. Mix well. Let the fried cheese cool down.
Meanwhile the pasta would be ready. Drain the hot water away & add cold tap water to cool down the pasta. Drain all the water away.
In a mixing bowl add the cooked pasta, fried halloumi with garlic,red wine vinegar, olive oil, black olives, tomatoes, rocket leaves, freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste. Mix well. Lastly add basil. Mix well & serve.
Tip: If you wish to, you can add some onions & sweet peppers too. The red wine vinegar & the olives add a bit of tangy flavours to the salad, but if you want to go ahead & squeeze some lemon juice.