Grilled Halloumi Salad with Caramelized Kumquats

IMG_3470.jpgThis salad pleases the eye as well as the taste buds. I had so many kumquats in the fridge these days; I really didn’t know what to cook. I posted a question on instagram and one lovely lady suggested making a jam and then serving it with halloumi to balance the sweetness. I found that inspiring so I decided to create lovely salad with these ingredients. I didn’t make a jam, as that requires a different, time-consuming process. I caramelized the kumquats in a little orange juice and maple syrup. I just LOVE maple syrup. It’s not as sweet as honey and has this wonderfully mellow flavor. I love it in salad dressings and the idea of halloumi, kumquats and maple syrup sounded so inviting. So here it is! A colourful, sweet, absolutely delicious salad. Perfect for a February day that feels almost like spring. At least in my part of the world.

IMG_3459.jpg

 Ingredients

  • 8 slices halloumi cheese (I used one halloumi 125 grams sliced in 8 pieces)
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 3 cups wild rocket leaves
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 4 mint sprigs, leaves only
  • ¾ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

For the kumquats

  • 16 kumquats, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbs orange juice
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 3 tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Method

First caramelize the kumquats: Remove pits from the kumquats (don’t be too fussy, just remove the really big, visible ones) and put them in a small saucepan, in one layer, cut side up. Mix the water with the orange juice and maple syrup and pour it in the saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-low heat. Simmer until liquid is thickened and caramelized and almost no juices remain in the pan. Remove kumquats in a bowl to cool together with whatever juices from the pan.

Grill halloumi over medium heat (I used my griddle pan), about 2 minutes per side, until nice dark griddle lines appear on the surface. While grilling, don’t be in a hurry to turn it over. Turn it only after dark lines form and halloumi doesn’t stick to the pan any more. Set aside until you prepare the salad.

Make the dressing by mixing all ingredients together in a jar. In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, rocket, mint leaves, spring onion and half of the walnuts. Drizzle about half of the dressing and mix well. Transfer salad on a serving platter. Lay halloumi slices on top and garnish with the caramelized kumquats and remaining walnuts. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve at once.

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