Lentils and Halloumi salad with a vinaigrette dressing
LENTILS AND HALLOUMI SALAD WITH A VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
LENTILS AND HALLOUMI – CRUNCHY AND CHEWY
I am forever creating new salad combinations using ingredients I love and this lentils and halloumi salad is no different! It is the perfect salad if you like eating salads with different textures and a sour/tangy dressing to go with it. Lentils and halloumi for the win!
Lentils and halloumi salad – a great lunch meal to prep for work as you can eat the halloumi raw. Also, it is a very appealing salad to make for a dinner party and all your guests will be raving about it.
WHY ADD LENTILS
Lentils can be eaten in so many different ways and one of them is by adding them to salads. That way you consume the extra nutrients and you fill up a bit more if you are seeking a low calorie meal (without the halloumi in this case). Brown lentils are smaller than the typical green lentils hence they are cooked a bit faster. In addition, brown lentils are the perfect size when mixed with other ingredients, since their flavour is not too overpowering in one bite.
HALLOUMI – THE HERO ON TOP
Adding halloumi to the salad doesn’t only add an amazing flavour but also a different texture to it due to its chewiness. I used a whole block (225g) in this case and some pieces may have not made it on top of the salad haha I love fried halloumi! Read my method below to see how I cook it so that an even colour is formed on each side.
• ¾ cup brown lentils, cleaned and washed (150g)
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup vegetable stock
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 2 bay leaves
• ½ large fennel bulb, washed and thinly sliced
• 120 g rocket, washed and dried
• 1 block of halloumi, cut in 8-10 slices (the block I used weighed 225g)
• ½ punnet of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
• ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, washed and roughly chopped
• ¼ cup pecans, halved
• 3 tbs balsamic vinegar
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1 tbs Dijon mustard
• Salt and pepper
1. Use a kettle to boil 1.5L of water. Add the brown lentils in a heatproof bowl with enough boiling water to cover them completely and let them cook for 15min. This way it will get rid of the “dirty/soil” flavour they have also. Meanwhile, you may start washing the vegetables needed and preparing the dressing.
2. After that time, rinse and strain the lentils well. Add the rest of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil before adding the lentils. Allow it to cook for 20-25min depending on the texture you prefer. Personally, I prefer them to be crunchy so I let them cook for 20min.
3. Remove any foam that may form using a slotted spoon. Once they are cooked pour out the liquid using a colander, but avoid rinsing the lentils with water so that the flavour doesn’t wash away. Let it cool down in the colander before adding it to the salad.
1. Wash and chop all the ingredients needed. The halloumi should be fried last, once every other component has been prepared and assembled.
2. To fry the halloumi, use a non-stick frying pan and dry fry it on high heat. By not adding any oil I find that there is a better more even colouration on the halloumi slices. It only takes 2min on either side, watch over it so it doesn't burn.
Whisk all the ingredients together, drizzle on top of the salad once all the components have been assembled and toss it all together before serving.
I haven’t tried this recipe with canned lentils but I can’t see why not. The flavour will be different and to boost it you might want to bring them to a boil using the ingredients. However, they won’t need too long to boil as they are already cooked.
Be mindful of the amount of salt you add to the dressing because the halloumi could also be quite salty. It might be best to season in the end after you’ve tasted the whole salad.