It’s September, and so in my mind, finally, autumn! The BEST season both for food, and life in general- crisp mornings, back to uni, new books I can justify buying for uni, GBBO, social stuff at uni, Bonfire Night later in the season, soups, jumpers, hot coffee and cold days….If you aren’t convinced, for now I’m hoping to prove that at least the food is amazing- with the following salad.
Contrary to popular belief salads don’t migrate south when the summer sun goes down. In fact, they get even better because all of the food crops are being harvested. September is amazing for seasonal produce, as we still have some summer ingredients, but root veg is appearing and apples are nearly at their best.
This salad uses halloumi, which you can actually eat raw as well as cooked- my mum spent part of her childhood in Cyprus due to my Grandad’s being in the army, and it was served raw as a dessert over there. So if you’re feeling super lazy you don’t even have to cook it. I “accidently” ate a lot of raw halloumi whilst making this, and I can vouch for its deliciousness. I’ve used a griddle pan to cook it here for the finished salad, but a regular pan will work just fine (griddle pans just give you lovely decorative charring lines). If you aren’t a cheese fan you could sub in cooked chicken, or tofu, or quorn. If you simply don’t like halloumi, then perhaps try a feta cheese.
With all that said, let’s get going….
- 1/4 block of halloumi cheese (I used Asda’s low fat halloumi as it was all they had, but the texture was unexpectedly amazing, and so I’ll be using this from now on I think)
- 150g sweet potato, cut into wedges
- 1/2 large red onion, or one small one, cut into wedges
- 1 medium English apple, cut into wedges (or whatever apple you can get hold of)
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- Cooking spray
- Salt, dried Italian herbs, black and white pepper- all to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180*c. Place the apple and onion onto a baking tray, cover loosely with foil, and whack them into the oven for 15 minutes.
- Place the sweet potato into a dish and microwave on full power until tender; put to one side.
- Once the 15 minutes is nearly up chop the halloumi into chunks, and spray a griddle pan with cooking spray. Turn the pan onto a high heat. Carefully place the halloumi on to it. Once it begins to sizzle turn down to medium-low. Keep an eye on this, turning the chunks occasionally to prevent burning.
- When 15 minutes for the apple and onion is up, throw the potato onto the tray uncover it, add the potato, and any seasoning you like. Set the time for 5 minutes more, and return the tray to the oven.
- Microwave your spinach for 30 seconds and then transfer to a large dish. To this add the apple, sweet potato, and onion. Toss together, and the cooked halloumi, and plate up with a dash more seasoning…