Friday, March 9, 2007

Roasted Tomato, Chickpea & Red Onion Salad with Halloumi

Sometimes the title just says it all, you know? I feel like there's nothing I can do to sell this salad after giving you its (very prosaic) name. It should be enough! Well, maybe I'll just add that it's really no work at all - the onions and tomatoes are roasted in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil until the tomatoes start crinkling at the edges and the onion turns soft and sweet. After that it's just a question of tossing things together and frying the halloumi.

Tomato, Chickpea and Onion Salad

I have this sneaking suspicion that halloumi is a bit 2002 (for one thing, I can get it at my corner store* which is probably not a good sign), but quite frankly, I don't care. Fried halloumi is one of the best cheese-related experiences you can have, soft and oozy and salty and crisp and tangy. And I say this as someone who loves her cheese.

Roasted Tomato, Chickpea and Red Onion Salad with Halloumi


*even low-fat. Trust me when I say that low-fat halloumi is the devil.

Roasted Tomato, Chickpea and Red Onion Salad
serves 3-4, originally snagged from Hufvudstadsbladet last fall but tinkered with a bit

500 g (1 pound) cherry (or smallish plum) tomatoes
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 can chickpeas
1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
fresh basil, oregano and tarragon or any combination thereof
200 g (7 oz, or whatever size it comes in, really) halloumi
salad greens

Tomato, Chickpea and Onion Salad

Halve the tomatoes and bake at 200°C (400°F) for about ten minutes. Season the onion with balsamic vinegar, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the onion's softened and maybe taken on some color, and the tomatoes are starting to crinkle at the edges.

Mix the onions and tomatoes with the rinsed and drained chickpeas and coarsely chopped herbs. Taste off with more balsamic vinegar and/or salt & pepper.

Cut the halloumi in 5-mm slices and fry it on both sides in a dry pan until golden brown.

Serve on a bed of whatever green stuff you have around. Except not the romaine from my fridge, because that had gone all wilty. Boo.

Tomato, Chickpea and Onion Salad, with Help

19 comments:

ByTheBay said...

***Drool***

I haven't yet had the wonder that is halloumi but these photos make me want it RIGHT NOW.

tiinu said...

I am drooling here, too - just like your cat! He's so funny!

Astrid said...

Every post in your blog is delicious-looking! Thank you!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wow!! that is beyond good looking. I even have a little halloumi in the refrig! drooling...

deinin said...

Bythebay, you won't be disappointed, I think!

Tiinu, it's only funny until he steals a piece of brie FROM YOUR MOUTH.

Astrid, aaaww, thanks! This salad was the first thing I've been able to photograph in ISO 100 since October - I was very excited!

MyKitchenInHalfCups, every time I make it I keep reminding myself to make it MORE OFTEN, as it's easy, fast, no weird ingredients, and pretty healthy (at least if you go easy on the cheese, which I admittedly don't). I'm sure you could play around with the dressing for the onions, but so far I've been happy to keep it simple.

Brilynn said...

Beautiful pics! And fried cheese is right up there with gooey cheese oozing out of bread!

deinin said...

Brilynn, thanks! I don't think it's possible to go wrong with cheese, really.

joey said...

Terrific photos! And that is one delicious-sounding salad! Halloumi has only recently started showing up on my shores so I'm really excited to try it...especially the fried version! :)

Kristen said...

That looks like an amazing salad!

oliivia said...

Sounds (not to mention, looks) absolutely DELICIOUS! I will have to try that out soon. Have made similar salad with goat's cheese and sweet chili sauce (no chickpeas though).

deinin said...

Joey, halloumi was totally made to be fried/grilled/baked. It is the (hot) cheese of the gods.

Kristen, it is amazing! And so hassle-free...

Oliivia, mmm, goat cheese. I'll have to try that, too!

D-man said...

uhhhh, ooohhhhh, ooooooh! This looks fantabulous. Ain't halloumi da bomb? I think the last time I had it, we grilled it, doused it in ouzo and lit it on fire. Something like that, although later on I was quite doused and grilled too. Mmmm, twice cooked cheese.......

The pictures here are flat-out.....WOW!

deinin said...

D-man, hee! I don't think you CAN go wrong with the halloumi + heat combo, but I have to admit I'm pretty leery of lighting things on fire. *is a wuss*

kitchenbeard said...

Beautiful. Mind if I ask how you lit it?

deinin said...

Kitchenbeard, there's some more or less indirect daylight from a window about 40 cm from the plate (you can see the edge of the table in the shot with the cat). I used a white canvas type thing right across the window (like so: window-| plate |-canvas) to reflect it back. Most of the shots are angled just slightly towards the window.

Wow, that sounds confusing.

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