October 26, 2015
Broad Bean & Halloumi Salata
- approx. 500g broad beans
- 100 g halloumi - I used goat milk Halloumi from Cranky Goat
- handful chopped mint leaves
- sea salt and cracked pepper
- lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- Remove the beans from the pods. Blanch in a pot of rapidly boiling water until the skins burst, about 2 minutes (depends how large the beans are). Refresh in cold water and drain thoroughly.
- Slice the halloumi into 5mm strips and grill in heavy-based saucepan until golden on both sides. Chop into cubes. Toss the broad beans, halloumi and chopped mint together. Season well and dress with lemon juice and olive oil. Eat immediately.
Some of the best food I have ever experienced was during a visit to the Greek Islands. My mum was house-sitting for several months on the island of Paros (as you do), so I flew across the world to visit her. It was winter so the tavernas (small Greek restaurants often run by the whole family) were very quiet, however, that didn’t impede on the quality of the food.
Every meal was perfect, simply flavoured, and always accompanied by homemade bread, house-pressed olive oil and wine made from grapes grown on the island – or from the courtyard of the taverna itself. In a way it was like coming home for me, summing up all that I believe in – eating local, eating in season, keeping it simple.
The salata I share today is to celebrate eating local as we did in Greece. All the ingredients are sourced from my garden and our greater region of local producers. It truly is a labour of love preparing broad beans, however, when each bite results in the perfect balance of flavours it is worth every ounce of effort. With our small plate of salata we sat together on our veranda now completely shaded by the magnolia growing through it. The four of us ,with a fork each, piercing the tender beans and squeaky halloumi (yep, halloumi really is squeaky much to the children’s delight!).
As we sat we admired the new addition to our garden, a glasshouse my husband built over several weeks. Made from a foundation of concrete blocks including a block wall at the rear that warms up during the day to radiate heat through the night. The windows were recycled from a friend’s house that is being renovated, and the door and roof made from twinwall polycarbonate (kind of like the plastic equivalent of double glazing) – unfortunately a secondhand glass door could not be found, and patience was wearing thin to get planting. The temperature in the glasshouse is already reaching 45C during the day. The tomato plants that can be seen through the window were planted only 2 weeks ago! A huge thanks to my clever husband for having the idea and making it happen. This is going to be an amazing summer of homegrown goodness.