This warm Quinoa, Halloumi and cold chickpea salsa salad is a complete healthy meal. It’s packed with flavour and textures and the combination of warm and cold put side by side enhances them further.
Till now paneer was the only cheese I knew that could be grilled or fried without melting. I discovered Halloumi during our last trip to Istanbul. Like paneer, halloumi is a semi hard cheese with a very melting point which means it can be fried or grilled without losing its shape. It is an amazing accompaniment to salads. For this salad, I simply warmed the halloumi a little on the pan without oil but if I am making it for a bbq, I will surely put it on the grill before adding it to the salad plates.
For grains, I have used a mix of white and red quinoa and brown rice. You can also use couscous instead or just quinoa or just rice. The original recipe comes from an old issue of Good Food magazine.
Halloumi, chickpea salsa and quinoa salad
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 2 as main and 4 as side
1 cup mix of red and white quinoa and brown rice
2 cups vegetable stock
3 tbsp Olive oil
200 gms canned chickpeas, drained
2 tomatoes, cut in big chunks (or use 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 red chilli, 1/2 finely chopped and 1/2 sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 cup fresh mixed herbs, chopped (mint, parsley and coriander)
100 gms halloumi cheese, thickly sliced
- For the chickpea salsa, mix together chickpeas, tomato cubes, vinegar, 1 tbsp oil, finely chopped chillies, salt, cumin and half the herbs. Toss everything together. Cover and keep in fridge while you cook everything else.
- In a sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the vegetable stock and bring to boil. Add the quinoa and brown rice mix. Cook covered on low heat for 10 mins till all the stock is absorbed and the grains are cooked through. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
- Heat a flat pan and lightly cook the halloumi on both sides. You can lightly spray them with 1 tbsp oil. If you have a grill pan, it will be great to get a few grill lines on your cheese, especially for that exotic look to the salad :).
- Divide the quinoa between two serving plates. Add the chickpea salsa on the side and top with warm halloumi. Garnish with red chilli slices.