I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Butternut squash, roast beets and grilled halloumi salad


In winter, my salad consumption drops dramatically. This is partly because I think winter is for hot cocoa, soups, casseroles, and other foods that warm you from the inside out. Partly, I think it's because we all know that animals couldn't hibernate based on a salad diet, so it seems to go slightly against nature. However, I don't actually want to put on 30 pounds and sleep for 4 months, so sometimes a salad is what's called for.

The secret to winter salads is to base them around heartier, more substantial vegetables, and to make the flavors zing. In my vegetable box this week, I got a butternut squash and a few beets. Roasted, the sugars in the squash become toasty and caramel flavored while the texture goes wonderfully soft, and the beets retain a wonderful density. Both vegetables are on the sweet side, so I dressed the salad with a very lemony dressing to add acidity for balance. To make the salad more of a meal, and to add some needed saltiness, I bought some halloumi to grill.

For those of you who have never had grilled halloumi, you are in for a treat. Everyone loves a grilled cheese sandwich. But halloumi is cheese that can go straight on the grill. It looks like a hard mozzarella right out of the package, but add some fire and it softens, then crisps up and browns. It is indeed something magical.

All in all, this is a great salad for the cool evenings. Also, I might add, it makes a great lunch that does not induce post-prandial hibernation. Sleepiness might be good for bears, not so much for the working stiff.


Butternut squash, roast beets and grilled halloumi salad

Cubed butternut squash, roasted
Wedges of beets, roasted or boiled and peeled
Slices of halloumi, grilled in a nonstick pan until browned on both sides
Watercress, arugula, or other peppery leaf
Dressing made with 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts olive oil, dash of Dijon mustard whisked together

Mix dressing in a bowl. Toss all ingredients except beets with the dressing in the bowl and plate. Toss beets in the bowl to coat with remaining dressing, then add to salad. (Or, if you don't mind them bleeding onto the rest of the salad, toss all together at the same time.)




18 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Lovely ingredient combination!

doggybloggy said...

this fresh salad sounds so good after all the heavy protein gorging I have been up to - nice flavors going on here!

5 Star Foodie said...

Such a wonderful salad with fall/winter ingredients! I'm loving the combo of roast beets & grilled halloumi!

girlichef said...

I have always wanted to grill haloumi...but I have yet to find any!! This sounds amazing...all of it :D

Megan said...

This salad looks so tasty! I love your theory that we don't eat as much salad because animals couldn't hibernate on salad... that must be why I crave all that comfort food - if only we got to hibernate too!

Chef E said...

I have read about this cheese, and need to check here to see if I could find it.

Some people do not understand my obsession with buying organic and natural foods; it is more expensive, but I feel worth it in the long run.

Thanks for coming over to my site...

Fresh Local and Best said...

I adore beets with goat cheese. I have never tried halloumi, but I'm intrigued! Will look for it at the cheese shop.

Mary said...

This looks really wonderful. I love halloumi but have a devil of a time finding it. The next time it's available I'm going to give this a try. I, by the way. love your site and have become a follower.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fabulous salad! what a marvelous flavor combo!

Cheers,

Rosa

teresa said...

oh i love this, especially the grilled haloumi! it's nice to keep some fresh greens in the mix with all the comfort food floating around!

Velva said...

This salad sounds really delicious. I have never head of halloumi until I read this post and it sounds creamy delicious. I need to keep my eyes open while shopping in the cheese section.
I am thinking I need to join you for lunch.

Joanne said...

I have definitely been wanting to try halloumi! It sounds like such a good cheese.

Ironically, I have totally been craving salads lately which makes no sense since it is super cold here. I love the butternut addition! Great way to winter-fy the salad.

Faith said...

I love how you used winter veggies in a salad! And paired with haloumi this salad sounds divine!

Astra Libris said...

Such a perfect winter salad! I've never had grilled halloumi before, and it sounds heavenly!!

Chef Fresco said...

I've never even heard of halloumi - I want some!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

What a wonderful find. Halloumi. I'd never heard of this cheese but I will be on the look out for it. Your salad sounds very tasty indeed and yes, perfect for these cold seasonal months. Thanks.

The Duo Dishes said...

The halloumi is a nice touch. Very different from any cheese that would be traditionally paired with these veggies in a salad.

prashant said...

I have been up to - nice flavors going on here
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