As the weather finally starts to warm up somewhat here in Southwestern Ontario after such a long winter, our thoughts begin to turn more toward salads. This layered salad is not only a substantial and attractive addition to your meatless table, but also an ideal and nourishing way to celebrate the eventual return of spring as we wait for warmer temperatures and the blooming of local produce.
The lemon and the tahini dressing, slightly sweetened by some high quality honey, comes together in minutes and is a lovely accompaniment to the earthy beets and luscious greens. Any combination of greens may be used – consider a mixture of baby spinach, beet greens, mustard greens and dandelion or whatever else strikes your fancy.
For those unfamiliar with halloumi, it is a salty Greek cheese, usually made of goat and sheep milk. It has a high melting point, and holds together well when fried or grilled. It freezes well too and I always have a block or two on hand because you just never know when the craving might hit.
Halloumi, Beetroot and Greens Dressed with Tahini and Lemon
- 4 medium beets, left whole and unpeeled
- 250 grams halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4 slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 – 6 cups mixed greens
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Begin by roasting the beetroot. Simply wrap in foil and cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for about an hour or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and cut into smallish wedges.
To make the dressing, whisk together the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper. Add a bit of water to thin the dressing if desired.
Heat a large frying pan over just higher than medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Arrange the halloumi slices in the pan, trying to avoid having the slices touching, and fry until browned on the bottom. Use tongs to turn the cheese over and fry the other side until browned – this should take 3 – 4 minutes per side. While still in the pan, drizzle the lemon juice over the cheese, and finish with lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
To serve, arrange some mixed greens on a plate, top with some shredded carrots, a scattering of beet wedges and a slice or two of the fried halloumi. Drizzle with some of the dressing.
You may also enjoy [highlight]Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad[/highlight]