It’s almost two weeks since I bought the two Sicilian blood oranges along with some white asparagus in Chiswick – and I really needed to do something with them! I could, of course, just eat them – straight. But I wanted to do something a bit special and the plan had been in my head all this time; it’s just that ‘life’ and other things got in the way.
Fortunately, the oranges had lasted well (a sign of their freshness when I bought them) and with a barbecue planned with the family for supper, it was an ideal time to put my plan into play and offer my griddled halloumi with Sicilian orange salad alongside the other food.
Jonathan and family had been driving back from deepest Worcestershire where they’d been looking after my daughter’s dog and house for the weekend and taking in some country air. They invited themselves to supper, which is always lovely, especially since Jonathan suggested he barbecue. After a blast of wintry weather, summer was back and a barbecue was a perfect plan for our Sunday meal. I, however, had morning plans – to go to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see both the Mary Quant and Christian Dior exhibitions (which were both fabulous) and so the barbecue wasn’t going to involve anything more complicated than stopping at Waitrose on the way back to buy some pre-prepared burgers (I chose venison as they’re great) and a box of little macarons from Paul Bakery to go with the tubs of Grom gelato in my freezer (also bought at Waitrose).
I prepared the orange salad a little ahead of eating and then griddled the halloumi at the last minute, laying it on top. We could have used the barbecue to cook the cheese, but while Jonathan was busy cooking the burgers, it seemed easier for me to griddle the cheese back in the kitchen. Harmonious team cooking here!
Griddled Halloumi with Orange & Olive Salad
- 2 blood oranges
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for griddling
- 2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- a few black olives (about 8-10)
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- a few sprigs or fresh mint and oregano
- 250g pack of halloumi
Cut the oranges into segments. Do this in a shallow bowl so you can catch all the juice to use later. Cut off the ends. Stand the orange on one end and carefully cut away the peel and pith with a sharp knife.
Then, using the sharp knife, cut out the segments. Cut along the line of the membrane covering each segment. Discard all the membrane. Put the orange segments into a shallow serving dish and collect the juice in a jug. I had 3 tablespoons – this may differ depending on the size of your oranges.
The oranges were still wonderfully juicy and I loved their almost black colour – they were really special.
To the 3 tablespoons of juice, add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of cider or white wine vinegar. Add some salt and pepper and whisk together. Spoon some over the orange segments (you may not need all – just put in what looks right for you). Add the olives. Sprinkle over the finely sliced spring onions and some chopped fresh mint and oregano. I have both growing in my garden but use what you have to hand – but only fresh herbs for this, not dried (see my post on use of dried v. fresh herbs: click here).
I covered the salad with clingfilm to keep until I was ready to griddle the halloumi.
When we were about to eat, I cut the halloumi into roughly 1cm thick slices and brushed them with olive oil. I put them onto a hot griddle and cooked until lightly charred on each side. Then I laid them across the orange salad.
Out in the sunny garden we enjoyed our plates of venison burgers in brioche buns, a green leaf and tomato salad, little roasted potatoes topped with za’atar – and the halloumi salad!
It was all delicious and a wonderful joint family effort!