Yep, it’s HOT in Sydney right now. I don’t function very well in the heat. It makes me incredibly sluggish, and unfortunately, I get quite cranky and flustered. The thought of cooking in the sauna that is our house is cringe-worthy (if only we had air-conditioning!). But we still need to eat, and this weather is perfect for light, fresh salads.
One of my favourite salads is Haloumi and Lentil, from Taste.com.au. I love the combination of lentils with crunchy cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, slightly sweet tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Topped with pan-fried haloumi cheese, lemon juice and good quality extra virgin olive oil, this is the perfect summer dinner. I use parsley in this salad since I’m usually anti-mint, but the garden had no parsley left… Being 35℃ at 6.30pm last night, my heat-addled brain decided that mint was probably a great addition to the salad to cool us down. And it was.
Haloumi and Lentil Salad (Serves 2)
- 400g can of brown lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped – or use halved cherry tomatoes
- Small handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Block of haloumi
- Olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil
- Combine lentils, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and mint in a bowl. Season then toss to combine.
- Cut haloumi into 1 cm thick slices. Rinse and pat-dry with paper towels.
- Heat a pan on medium-high – I find non-stick pans don’t work with haloumi, so I use a regular pan. Add olive oil and pan fry haloumi 2-3 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Drain haloumi on paper towel.
- Dress salad in lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, top with haloumi and serve with lemon wedges.