Halloumi, Roasted Beetroot and Rocket with a Lemon and Thyme Vinaigrette Recipe

One Friday evening I had dinner and stayed over at my friend’s, Jess. She has the most amazing eye for design detail inside and outside in her garden, its looks like a magazine without the coldness as it still feels welcoming and homely. Lucky for me she sent me on my way in the morning with a big goody bag filled with her home grown from seed, beetroot, salad leaves, spinach and kale. We ate the kale in our favourite oven baked gnocchi recipe. Next I decided to have a go at the beetroot for lunch and it did not disappoint. You have a wonderful earthiness and sweetness from the beetroot, saltiness from the halloumi, pepper notes from the rocket and a tangy dressing to lift and bring the whole dish together.

Ingredient’s

For the Salad

  • Bunch of beetroot (I reserved the leaves and cooked like spinach)
  • 1/2 pack of halloumi (8 slices)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 60ml water
  • 1 small bag of rocket leaves
  • 6 walnut halves coarsely chopped

For the Dressing

  • zest of half a lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • leaves removed from large sprig of thyme
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 preserved lemon finely chopped, optional (recipe)
  • 1 tsp honey or honey mustard
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degree’s (fan), scrub the beetroot to remove any mud but leave on their skins. Place the beetroot, garlic, 4 thyme sprigs, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper ( a grind) and drizzle olive oil over and around the beetroot. Rub the mixture into beetroot well. Add the water and cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour. You may want to check half way through to see if it needs another splash of water.
  2. To cook the halloumi, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. Dry fry the halloumi (they will release a lot of moisture) around 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned and set aside on kitchen paper.
  3. Add all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake well to combine place in fridge so they can combine and enhance their flavours.
  4. Once the beetroot is cooked and cool enough to handle wearing gloves peel off the beetroot skins and chop into chunks.
  5. To assemble salad, put a handful of rocket in the dishes, add the beetroot and halloumi. Give the dressing another shake and drizzle over the salad and sprinkle over the chopped walnut pieces.

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