The current heatwave brings challenges other than simply trying to stay cool enough to sleep, work, live. There’s ‘What can I eat?’ too. I’m not as hungry as usual, which is pretty normal in such heat, but I do need food! I always need food. I’m the kind of person who can’t go out early in the morning without breakfast, never skips a meal.
I eat salads quite a lot in the summer time but at the moment it’s every day. So far in the past few days I’ve had Salad Niçoise, Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad, Tricolore Salad (see my Easy Suppers for Hot Summer Nights). I want something light, fresh and cool. Well tonight I guess the warm salad wasn’t quite ‘fresh’ and ‘cool’ but it was light and it was delicious.
I always have halloumi in the fridge. It tends to have a long ‘use by’ date so is a useful standby to have regularly to hand. I had the heart of a Little Gem lettuce – I’d taken off a few outside leaves but most of it was there. And I bought a pack of 4 peaches yesterday. I remembered a halloumi, chicory and peach salad I’ve made before and this is, of course, similar but – hopefully you’ll agree – tonight’s supper is still worth a mention here. I griddled it all and made a dressing I use frequently for salads with olive oil, wine (or cider) vinegar, grain mustard, honey and seasoning. It was all made in a few minutes and I was soon sitting in the garden, a glass of chilled white wine to hand and a delicious supper to savour.
Warm Halloumi, Little Gem & Peach Salad – Serves one
- about 175g halloumi, cut into approx. 1cm slices
- 1 Little Gem lettuce, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 ripe peach, cut in half and stone removed
- extra virgin olive oil
- a mix of extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, a little runny honey and wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper
Make the dressing – just enough for one unless you are doubling or tripling this up, which is easily done. This is very much to personal taste but roughly a third to a quarter as much vinegar to oil and then a little of the other ingredients. Taste and add more of any to suit yourself.
Brush a little olive oil onto one side of the cheese, lettuce and peach. Heat a griddle until hot. Lay the ingredients down and cook for just a couple of minutes or so until the underside is nicely browned. Brush the tops with more oil and then turn over to cook the other side.
Lay the halloumi, lettuce and peach on a plate. Drizzle over the dressing – and there is supper.
Okay, so there were a few short minutes standing over a hot griddle when the temperature outside was in the high 20s, but just look at the result. Taste it. Wasn’t it worth it? You could even cook it on a barbecue outside, if you prefer. And if you have a garden, balcony or outside space, or a window to sit by, enjoy the summer feel. Perhaps there’s even a little of the Mediterranean about it: salty halloumi from Cyprus, perfectly complementing those sweet peaches; slightly crunchy and charred Little Gem and a sweet honey dressing with a hint of mustard heat. What could be more agreeable on a hot summer’s night? It was incredibly simple but good enough to feel like a treat.