I love this salad. It has everything you need Golden roasted Pumpkin, Beetroot and glorious crunchy warm Haloumi. Perfect for a side dish or as a whole dinner!
It’s April and I can’t let go of summer. It happens every year about this time. I go along thinking it will stay warm, hoping it will stay warm, and then one morning it happens, I wake up and it’s cold. There’s frost on the car and I have to find different clothes to wear to work. Until Easter, when I know it will be winter soon, I try to find all the summer things that cheer me up, like salad.
One of the lovely things that happened to me this summer was going away for a short break with one of my sisters. We went on a road trip to visit our older sister. We didn’t do anything too special if you don’t count just being together talking laughing , cooking and going out for lunch. The memory of this will carry me through the long months of winter. We went to a great cafe in Port Macquarie in northern NSW and had a salad similar to the one I have made today. This is what I have In My Kitchen. All of the ingredients are easy to get if you want this warm salad in your kitchen this April.
There is nothing better than freshly roasted beetroot. Give it a scrub and cut into quarters toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast on a baking tray or wrap in foil if you prefer. If you dont quite have the time for this then this pre-cooked beetroot can be very handy. Just be sure to flavour it up well with a delicious dressing. I love slicing it into fine carpaccio and serving with chicken or lamb too. Haloumi is a great way to bring warmth to your April salad. Slice it and grill on the BBQ or on a grill plate on the stove.
A good salad dressing is always a must. Just remember your salad dressing will be as good as the oil and vinegar you use. Skip the supermarket and spend a bit of money on a really lovely vinegar a deli or specialist food store will have what you need. It could be a red or white wine vinegar a nice apple or sherry vinegar or a white balsamic condiment. You will not regret the difference it makes. Keep it in the fridge once opened to stop it oxidizing and it will stay fresh and sweeter tasting much longer. I have made this dressing with a white wine vinegar that has a lot of natural sweetness. The dressing recipe is easy and you can tweak it to suit the vinegar you use. Find a jam or sauce jar, shake it up and keep the left over in the fridge for next time.
Finally you will need some sweet pumpkin. Pumpkin should be more affordable now. Serve it warm from the oven or roast it the day before. What ever works for you.
Do you want to see what’s happening in kitchens around the country and the world ? Well have a look on Celia’s blog. www.figjamandlimecordial.com.
AND don’t forget to make my goodbye to summer salad.
(or hello summer if you are up in the north)
- 1 large piece of pumpkin cut into pieces and roasted ( approx 1kg- 2 lb)
- 1 packet of pre-cooked beetroot sliced- or cut (on a mandolin or the cutting side of your grater -approx 500gm / 8 oz or 4 roasted cut beets)
- 1 packet of haloumi cheese sliced thickly
- ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds ( optional)
- ½ bunch chives
- ¼ cup rough chopped parley
- 2 Tablespoons sliced basil leaves ( optional)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey( add more to taste, if your vinegar is not sweet) Add extra after shaking and tasting
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar ( white or red or cider, apple etc)
- 8 Tablespoons very good quality olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Make the salad dressing by putting all of the ingredients into a jar and shaking. Make sure the balance of sugar and salt is right. Dressing should taste great even before you add the salad!
- Cut the beetroot in which ever way you prefer and put into a bowl with the chopped chives and parsley a sprinkle of salt and 2-3 tablespoons of dressing and mix well.Sit for a couple of minutes.
- Arrange the salad on a big plate or shallow bowl. I like to put the beetroot down first and put the pumpkin on top sprinkling with extra herbs such as basil or some tiny micro herbs, then the sunflower seeds. (The beetroot in salad dressing is a bit messy mixed in a bowl with other ingredients, so this is why I put it on the plate first) Set aside while you grill the haloumi.
- Heat a grill pan to very hot. Roll each piece of haloumi in a tiny bit of olive oil before grilling for a couple of minutes on each side or till just coloured golden/. Place onto the salad plate or bowl and drizzle with more dressing.