Halloumi salad with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette

IMG_7187

I can really crave certain foods, like sushi for example. Or a blue sirloin with bearnaise sauce. And most recently; fried halloumi. There is something utterly satisfying with the chewy, salty Cypriot cheese.

Last time I craved halloumi I also wanted a salad and potatoes and it resulted in this great salad based on this delicious Delia recipe for a starter with halloumi. I really loved this salad and although I was (very) happy to eat it on its own it would also work really well with say barbecued chicken skewers.

Halloumi salas with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette, serves 2

250 g new potatoes, cooked and cut in half

1 bag watercress

1 halloumi

a handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 red onion, sliced and marinated in lime juice

Vinaigrette:

1 lime, zest and juice

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper

Mix the vinaigrette. Slice the halloumi and dry each piece with kitchen roll. Fry on high heat in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. 

Distribute water cress, new potatoes and cherry tomatoes on two plates. Remove the onion from the lime juice and divide between the plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette and place the fried halloumi on top.

Baked Jerusalem artichoke salad with Parma ham and parmesan

IMG_4388

Salads when the weather’s hot is a must, but despite the warmth I am still as hungry as usual, so for me a salad needs to be filling. I also like contrasting textures and temperatures. Something needs to happen in a salad for me to really enjoy it.

That’s why I like this salad, it has the warmth element of soft baked Jerusalem artichokes, pepperiness from the rocket, saltiness from the parmesan, umami from the ham and some zing and sweetness from the dressing with lemon and honey. Really tasty – and filling!

IMG_4376

Baked Jerusalem artichoke salad with Parma ham and parmesan, per portion

4-5 Jerusalem artichokes

3 slices Parma ham

2 handfuls rocket

Parmesan shavings

Dressing:

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, black pepper

Wash the Jerusalem artichokes and cut each into four wedges. Place in a roasting tray and drizzle with rapeseed oil and season. Bake in 180C until soft about 30-40 minutes depending on the size. Leave to cool slightly. 

Whisk together the dressing and season with salt and pepper. To plate the salad, start with the rocket, then the artichokes, Parma ham and drizzle with dressing. Finally top with plenty of Parmesan shavings.

Chicken thighs with asparagus couscous

I know that a lot of people prefer the fillets when they buy chicken, but I have always prefered the darker meat. Which was perfect at home when I grew up. If he had a whole roast chicken, my dad would have the breasts and my mother and I the darker meats like thighs, wings and drumsticks.

Chicken breast is good for ceratain dishes, but it feels like people in general have forgotten about the other cuts. A shame… But good for me I guess. My favourite part of the chicken is the thighs, and they are really cheap in comparison. And juicier (it is almost impossible to end up with dry thighs) and it also has more flavours.

Last week we had this really nice, but oh so easy to make, dish for supper. Fried marinated chicken thighs with a delicious couscous salad, containing marinated red onions and fried asparagus, served with sweet chili creme fraiche (it goes so well with chicken).

Chicken thighs with asparagus couscous, serves 2

4 chicken thighs

4 tbsp garlic marinade (I used a store bought one)

300 ml vegetable stock (boiling water + concentrated stock)

couscous

a bunch of asparagus

1 red onion

1 lime, the juice

olive oil

rocket

creme fraiche

sweet chilli sauce

Pour the marinade in a ziplock bag and add the chicken. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Fry the chicken on high heat to brown, then transfer to a roasting tray and fry in the oven. 200C ,20 minutes.

Pour the hot stock into a bowl. Add enough coucous to nearly soak up all the water. Add some olive oil. Wait for a minute. Mix with a fork.

Cut the onion in half and slice thinly. Place in a bowl, add lime juice (or lemon) and some olive oil. Leave until everything is ready.

Break the ends off the asparagus, cut into small pieces, diagonally, and fry until soft in olive oil on medium heat. Re-use the pan used for frying the chicken.

Mix creme fraiche with as much sweet chilli sauce as you prefer, add salt.

Take out the chicken from the oven and let it rest while you finish off the salad. Mix the couscous with the asparagus, onion and the marinade for the onion. Put it on a large plate and add rocket. Serve with the chicken and the sauce.