Halloumi and Sweet Pepper Salad with Pan-fried Salmon



Halloumi and Sweet Pepper salad with pan fried salmon

Halloumi and Sweet Pepper salad with pan fried salmon


This dish was inspired by Ottolenghi’s creations – pulling together a number of mediterranean flavours and colours to create something simple yet delicious. It was actually really quick to make and so works well mid-week.

Ingredients (serves 2 generously)

For the fish

2 salmon fillets

1 teaspoon red pesto

Handful of breadcrumbs mixed with lemon zest and black pepper (I actually used Waitrose’s version – qicker and more convenient)

For the salad

1 pack of asparagus tips

handful of spinach leaves/other mixed salad

baby peppers, sliced lengthways and salted

1 courgette, thinly sliced

Olive oil

Fresh lemon, squeezed

1 packet of halloumi (or to taste), sliced thickly

1 Lemon


1. Prepare the fish spread the pesto lightly onto the fillets and then sprinkle with the seasoned breadcrumb mix – you can then either oven bake or pan fry the fish (I pan-fried it with a little olive oil to stop it sticking) I think the fish usually takes around 12-15minutes depending how you like it done.

2. Meanwhile you can prepare the salad: Slice the peppers lengthways and lay on a baking tray – pour over a generous table-spoon of olive oil and sprinkling of sea salt and roast in oven at around 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes (check the peppers as ovens vary and you don’t want to char them). Once ready, leave to cool on kitchen towel

3. Pan fry the halloumi until golden on both sides and transfer to a plate to cool

4. Pan fry the sliced courgette with a little olive oil and sea salt until it starts to tinge brown at the edges, and similarly transfer to cool on a plate

5. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and drain

6. Now it’s time to assemble all the ingredients. I layered them up so that you can see all the colours together. I started with the salad leaves and then alternated layers of the asparagus, courgette, halloumi and peppers, finishing with the fillets of salmon. I then drizzled the salad with the leftover oil from cooking the peppers, some freshly squeezed lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt and za’taar

7. Serve with crusty baguette and fresh lemon wedges


Warm Aubergine & Courgette Salad with Chermoula

Chermoula is like the Moroccan equivalant of pesto. A mixture of ground coriander, lemon juice, cumin, chilli and garlic, with olive oil, all ground up using a pestle and mortar to form a thick green paste. It’s great to make your own, but if short on time, Belazu also makes a great pre-made version which is available in any of the large supermarkets.

It’s amazingly simple to make, but the addition of the chermoula makes it that little bit more exotic and interesting-sounding. I served this as a side dish with my Moroccan leg of lamb, but you could easily serve it as part of a BBQ, together with grilled meats and fish. I think it is best served at room temperature.

Ingredients (for 4)
2 large courgettes (chopped into 2-3cm chunks)
1-2 augbergines (i.e. 1 large aubergine or 2 smaller ones)
3 tablespoons of Chermoula (I used belazu pre-made chermoula – I do have a recipe though, which I will post separately)

1. Blanch the courgettes and aubergines (separtely) in boiling water until just tender (use a skewer or knife to check)
2. When ready, drain and rinse for a couple of minutes under cold water to cool and standaside to drain
3. Toss with 3 tablespoons of chermoula and serve


Roast Moroccan leg of lamb

This is an excellent and easy dinner party dish, which Catherine Hill wrote about in The Telegraph back in July this year. What makes it an excellent choice for entertaining is that it can all be pre-prepared and popped in the oven, leaving you to enjoy a glass of wine with your guests.

Ingredients (to serve 4-5)
For the lamb
2kg leg of lamb
2 cloves garlic
100g dried apricots, finely chopped
2 preserved lemons, finely chopped (these can be bought in Middle Eastern Delis and Waitrose or a large Sainsbury/Tesco/similar, if they have a Middle Eastern section)
1 tbsp olive oil

For the chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp rose harissa paste (I use the Belazu one which you can get in any big supermarket, since it isn’t too hot – if you like spice though, you could always use more than 2 tbsp)
2 x 400g (14oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cinnamon stick
250ml (9fl oz) chicken stock
500g (1lb 2oz) cherry tomatoes on the vine
6 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

To Serve
Couscous (cooked in stock – either veggie or chicken)
Butter to melt into couscous
Roasted tomatoes on the vine
Warm courgette and Aubergine salad

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Set the lamb on a chopping board and slash the flesh all over, about 2cm (¾in) deep, in a criss-cross pattern. Combine the garlic, apricots, preserved lemons and oil and rub all over the lamb, working the marinade into the meat.

Heat the oil for the chickpeas in a large roasting tin that will sit on a hob. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add the ginger and harissa and cook for a further couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the chickpeas, cinnamon and chicken boil. Turn off the heat.

Set the lamb on top of the chickpeas and roast in the oven for 2¼ hours, or 30 minutes per 450g (1lb), basting every now and then and stirring the chickpeas.

Thirty minutes before the end of cooking time, lay the tomatoes – still on their vine – on top of the chickpeas and return to the oven. Allow the lamb to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Stir the coriander into the chickpeas and serve with thick slices of lamb and some hot, buttery couscous.

As an extra note, this was also DELICIOUS cold the next day – I had it for lunch.