The closest you are getting me to a Valentine’s post this February is this Exotic Tomato & Halloumi Salad.
The French call the tomato the “pomme d’amour” or the Love Apple. You should feel free to call this salad a Love Apple and Halloumi Salad. If you must, you could even make it for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. I will not promise you his/her heart, but I do promise a mouth full of flavour with just a hint of Tuscany; a worthy adversary for your affections I can assure you.
I am in head over heels in love with this salad right now. I guess you could say that this salad is a Panzanella salad with grilled halloumi or perhaps even a simplified Fattoush Salad. Whichever you decide, there is no denying it – you will swoon for it after just one bite.
It is ultimately though an enduring marriage based on the perfect ingredients; ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic. The best of summer flavours enhanced by good olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sugar, although that only if required. Added to this endless summer romance is some crusty sourdough loaf together with grilled halloumi cheese. The result leaves me weak at the knees.
If the sight of these ripe exotic tomatoes in the hues of a sunset sky over the vines have not yet stolen your heart, then the ability to enter into this salad making process with abandon rather than a strict adherence to a recipe will.
Use as many or as few tomatoes as you need. Love garlic? Add more. Tomatoes already sweet enough? Lose the sugar. Prefer crisp bread? Grill your sourdough. Is it lunch? A side dish? You decide.
At last, a happy ending you can actually write yourself.
- 125 ml (½ C) olive oil
- 1 – 2 small cloves of garlic, crushed
- 800 g ripe mixed colour small tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- ⅓ of a cucumber, sliced
- 250 ml (1 C) fresh basil leaves
- 2.5 ml (½ t) brown sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- four slices sourdough loaf, torn into chunks
- oil for frying
- 200 g (1 small block) halloumi cheese, sliced
- Place the olive oil in a large glass bowl. Add the garlic.
- Add the tomatoes and cucumber and toss to coat.
- Season with the salt, pepper and sugar if needed.
- Add the basil leaves.
- Allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to develop the flavour.
- Add the sourdough chunks to the tomatoes and toss well to coat.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
- Fry the halloumi cheese slices on each side until they are golden and crisp.
- Remove the cheese slices from the pan and drain off any excess oil on paper towel.
- Add the halloumi slices to the tomato salad and serve immediately.