The Simpsons once claimed that you don’t win friends with salad . Well, Simpsons, I claim to the contrary. I made this salad for a picnic party a number of moons ago and everyone went wild with delight. They could, of course, have been going wild for the cute boy that walked past or the fact that a dog ran through our picnic and almost took with it the very salad in question. But the point still stands – that salad was all people were talking about.
Anyway, today’s saladacious delight is a haloumi, pear and walnut salad. This salad takes approximately 8 minutes to make and approximately 2 minutes to enjoy. (Did somebody just steal my salad? How is it gone so quickly?) That’s 10 minutes. Efficiency in a salad. I don’t know who it was, but at some point over the last 5 years, someone was like “holy sh*t, haloumi!”. This line has since spread like wildfire because I have never met a non-dairy-intolerant person who has said “man, haloumi sucks”.
Step one: it tastes a bit nutty (no, not that sort of nutty). Heat a fry pan on high, with no oil. Tip a handful of nuts – I find walnuts works the best. They have a relatively strong, nutty taste which seems to tie in well with the smack of freshness from the pear and the “rubbery” salty haloumi. This time in particular I used toasted almonds. Not bad, I quite like the aroma of almonds, but I felt their taste was a little too subtle. Once toasted and a bit golden, take off the heat and set aside.
Step two: you’re so cheesey. Chop up a block of haloumi (last time, I just bought one of those blocks in the cheese section, nothing special) into decent sized squares (say, 2cm by 1cm?). Heat some olive oil in the frying pan on a fairly high heat, tip in your cheese, and wait for golden, delectable scents to waft your way. Check after, say, 30 seconds and flip. The idea is to get the sides of your haloumi crunchy, golden and delicious while the middle is oozy and warm. Cooks pretty quickly, so check frequently. Take off the heat when done.
Step three: eat your greens. While the haloumi is cooking (or after…I actually get really stressed about having to watch the haloumi. Someone could be choking in the background, and I wouldn’t be able to help them). Slice a beautifully, fragrant, ripe pear into slices or chunks – however you like it, and however you like to eat it. Wash a few good handfuls of delicious, peppery rocket as well.
Step four: sir mixalot. In a large bowl, with not a whole lot of delicacy, tip ’em all in. Combine the beautiful toasted almonds, the crunchy and warm haloumi and the fresh, ripe pear and sharp rocket leaves. I like to pour a decent swig of a lemon olive oil (or just regular olive oil and a nice squeeze of lemon, with a shaving of lemon zest). Rattle everything around so they’re all good friends and eat quickly!