Cauliflower, lentil and halloumi salad

This was one of those accidental salads that worked so well I felt duty bound to write it down and share it with you. Therefore, apologies for the photo because, as so often happens, it wasn’t until it was half-eaten that I realised how good it was!

It’s a really good, hearty, healthy salad that tastes delicious, fills you up, looks interesting and takes minutes to make. It stores well too, if there’s any left.

Ingredients

  • 150g halloumi
  • 2 cups cauliflower ‘micro florets’
  • 1 cup cooked beluga or puy lentils (I buy the Merchant Gourmet sachets when I’m in a hurry)
  • 50g pine nuts (toasted if you like) or walnuts
  • 1 ridge cucumber cut into 1cm dice
  • Generous handful of pitted black olives
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, coriander, parsley, wild garlic)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dried seaweed
  • a good slug of XVOO
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Cut your chunk of halloumi into 5mm slices and dry fry until golden brown and slightly crispy on both sides. Allow to cool and break slices into 4 pieces to add to your salad.
  • While the halloumi is cooking, make your cauliflower micro florets by cutting the cauliflower in half then taking a boning or paring knife and running it about 1cm underneath the cauliflower florets, separating the florets from the stalk. You will end up with dozens of tiny cauliflower pieces and a prehistoric looking stalky bit that you can set aside to roast or purée later.  It’s very quick, honest!
  • Add the halloumi and cauliflower micro florets to a large mixing bowl with the lentils, pine nuts, cucumber, olives, and the rest of the ingredients, tossing it all thoroughly to blend the flavours.
  • Works well with any sort of roasted meats or, as I did, simply with a wild rocket salad and a blob of cottage cheese.

Variations

Since this salad happened by accident, you can pretty much vary any of the ingredients to make a happy accident of your own! Cooked courgette would work well in place of cucumber, broccoli instead of (or as well as) cauliflower, any type of nuts, a handful of raisins… the options are endless.

If you are extremely carbohydrate sensitive, or following a completely strict ketogenic diet you could leave out the lentils.

 

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