Much as I love a change in seasons, it can be frustrating, food wise. In the mid-morning sunshine I thought I would eat lightly that evening, perhaps a salad. Then the clouds came over and by mid afternoon I was craving a roast dinner.
Why not combine the two?
This is a great way to clear out the vegie crisper before your next grocery shop, and because you can use so many vegetables it’s likely you could make this several times over and never eat the same meal twice.
I added chorizo because there is no excuse not to eat chorizo, but you could just as easily leave it out and have this as a side dish to a chop or steak if that’s what you want to do.
If you have the time, soaking haloumi in milk and lemon juice for a few hours helps to tenderise the cheese and stop it from squeaking. It’s no biggie however – if getting the food on the table fast is your bag, just slice it and fry it as usual.
- 200g block haloumi
- 1 bunch (about 1 cup) mint
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin or fennel seeds
- 1 wedge pumpkin OR 2 medium sweet potatoes, about 350g
- 1 bunch dutch carrots or 5 small carrots
- 2 red onions, quartered
- 2 small red capsicum
- 1 eggplant
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- ½ cup (50g) pinenuts or slivered almonds
- 1 large chorizo, sliced thinly
- salad leaves to serve
- mint leaves
- ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
- lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice haloumi into 1.5cm thick slices and soak for a few hours or overnight in a combination of two tablespoons of chopped mint leaves, milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to tenderise it and keep it soft during cooking. Reserve the remaining mint and lemon for the dressing.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a roasting dish with foil and set aside.
Add a tablespoon or two of oil and cumin or fennel seeds to a large bowl. Remove the skin from the pumpkin or potato and cut into 3-4cm chunks. Scrape the skins off the carrots and either leave them whole if they are Dutch carrots or quarter them and dice them if they are larger. Place them in the bowl, together with the peeled and quartered onions and toss them well to combine and coat with the seeds.
Place the oiled vegetables in the roasting dish in a single layer. Cut the eggplant, capsicum and zucchini into 4cm pieces and add to the roasting dish.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until pumpkin is black at the edges and vegetables are soft. Turn the vegetables back into a large bowl while they are still hot and pour dressing over them. Allow the vegetables to cool while you finish the salad.
Heat a heavy based fry pan over medium heat. Add the pinenuts or almonds and stir fry for 5 minutes until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the slices of chorizo. Fry for 2 minutes on both sides until each slice is crisp and browned. Drain on kitchen paper. Drain the haloumi from the milk bath and fry each slice for 2 minutes on each side until crisp and brown.
To assemble: Arrange salad leaves on a large platter. Toss the vegetables with chorizo and pinenuts then arrange on top of the leaves. Place the haloumi pieces over the top and serve at once with some crusty bread to sop up any juices.
Finely chop the remaining mint leaves and place them in a screw top jar with the olive oil, the juice of the remaining lemon, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake to combine.
$16.95 for four generous serves