I’m not sure whether it’s the salty-lemon tang or squeaky texture, but hot fried halloumi cheese is everyone’s favourite. This roasted corn and halloumi salad is summer on a plate. Jewel coloured sweet peppers with pan-roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and chewy halloumi. Tossed in a minted chilli dressing, it’s vibrant and fresh, I’ll definitely be bringing this rainbow coloured salad to the table on Braai Day.
The sweetcorn is flashed-fried in cumin, paprika and extra virgin olive oil. The flavours go slightly Mexican here, but are so good that it’ll be hard to resist eating it straight from the pan. If you’re a sweetcorn fan, it’s perfect as is or dusted with a grating of parmesan cheese. Okay, back to salad. Finely diced sweet peppers add pops of juicy sweetness to the salad. I use a mixture of yellow, red and orange sweet peppers. You can throw in a green pepper if you like but they tend to be a little bitter, so I leave it out. Note: Cucumber is mostly water so remove the seeds to prevent the salad becoming watery. If you don’t, it’ll dilute the flavour of the salad and as you can imagine, ‘corn soup’ is quite unattractive in a salad.
Let’s face it. There’s never enough halloumi so be sure to make more than you think you’ll need to prevent unnecessary family squabbling on Braai day. This is not a case of less is more. More is more, so just keep that cheese coming. A generous spritz of lemon or lime juice on fried halloumi is essential. For additional crunch and texture I’ve thrown in a few thinly sliced pink radishes and spring onions. Delicious!
A great salad dressing is as important as using the freshest, seasonal produce. Good quality extra virgin olive oil and lemons are my two kitchen staples. Aside from the fatty acids and antioxidants in cold pressed olive oil, the flavour is peppery and bright. Serve this halloumi salad with barbecued peri-peri chicken, juicy rib-eyed steak or farm-style South African boerewors. OR, all three!
Quick side note: Dress and toss the halloumi salad just before serving to avoid it becoming watery.
- Roasted corn and halloumi salad
- For the pan roasted corn
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 ears fresh corn, shucked
- For the salad
- half an English cucumber, deseeded
- 1 of each red, yelllow and orange sweet peppers
- 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
- handful baby pink radishes, thinly sliced
- 3 stems spring onions, diced
- 1 red chilli, membrane and seeds removed and finely diced
- handful fresh mint and flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 250 – 300g halloumi cheese, sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the corn. Season with cumin and paprika and fry on a high heat for several minutes, tossing the corn over all the while. The corn should still be crunchy and with a firm bite. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool.
- Slice the cucumber into half moon shapes. Dice the peppers into small jewel-like cubes. Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, spring onions, chilli and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Once the corn has cooled to room temperature, add to the salad.
- Heat a drop of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the halloumi for about a minute on both sides until golden brown. Season lightly with salt a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
- To finish, season the salad with salt and pepper, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil. Toss together. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and top with the halloumi.