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Down-under Halloumi cheese and French lentil salad

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy

Australian-inspired

While visiting my son Ryan in Bondi Beach Australia, he took us to Brown Sugar, a wonderful bistro owned by brother and sister Neil and Lianne Gottehiner. Everything was fresh, flavorful and delicious -- an approach to food the Aussies seem to have a particular knack for. One of the dishes we had was a Halloumi cheese and De Puy lentil salad, two of my favorite ingredients. Returning home I created the  version below. Roasting the cucumber and radishes mellows their flavor but keeps their crunch. The lentils make this a very filling meal and the Halloumi cheese gives it a briny kick.

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Tips

The recipe calls for 1 cup of De Puy lentils, but you will only need about 1/2 cup for the salad.  I make a cup and save half for something else.  If you want just enough for the salad, make only half a cup.  Use a good Spanish Jerez vinegar to make the dressing as it stands up well to both the lentils and the Halloumi.

Down-under Halloumi cheese and French lentil salad

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Discovered in a Bondi Beach bistro, this salad gets its meaty density from de Puy French lentils and a briny kick from grilled Halloumi cheese. Persian cucumbers, radishes and lots of mint and parsley keep it fresh.

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup De Puy lentils, rinsed and inspected for stones
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3-4 Persian cucumbers
  • 8 large radishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 pint mixed red and yellow cherry or teardrop tomatoes
  • 1 package Halloumi cheese, drained and sliced into 1/4" thick squares
  • 1 package pre-washed arugula
  • 1.5 T Spanish Jerez vinegar vinegar
  • 4.5 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. For lentils: In a large sauce pan briefly sauté 3/4 of the chopped shallots in olive oil. Add one cup De Puy lentils and cook for a minute or two, stirring. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat for 15 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until al dente. When done scoop the lentils from any remaining chicken broth and reserve.
  2. For radishes and cucumbers: Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place whole cucumbers and radishes on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, remove from oven and turn vegetables. Return to oven and roast another 5-6 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Slice cucumbers lengthwise and then in slices so each slice is a half circle. Cut radishes in quarters.
  3. For dressing: Put remaining shallots in a small bowl and add vinegar. Whisk olive oil in slowly. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For Halloumi: In a hot pan brown squares of cheese on both sides. No need for any oil.
  5. You can toss the lentils, vegetables, tomatoes, arugula and cheese together for a tossed salad. Or you can make a composed salad for a group presentation by tossing the lettuce, parsley and mint together and the lentils separately, using 1/4-1/2 of dressing on each. Scatter the tossed lettuce on a large serving platter. Then mound the lentils in the middle of the platter and arrange the roasted vegetables, tomatoes and browned Halloumi around the edges of the platter. Alternatively, you can create individual composed salads.

 

 

THIS SERVES WELL WITH

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2 COMMENTS

Comments

  1. aonam says:

    made the salad for dinner last nite. SOOO good. i was intrigued especially by the idea of roasting radish. i had never tried that before. they were wonderful. my husband isn’t a radish lover but this recipe may have converted him… as long as i follow this recipe! thanks again for a perfect dinner!

    1. Kim says:

      Roasting the radishes really mellows them out, but keeps the crunch. You will find lots of other uses for these crunchy veggies.

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