Warm cucumber, pea and broad bean salad with halloumi
I missed the first half hour of Saturday Kitchen this week, but @topfife caught it, and he watched Ashley Palmer-Watts make a deliciously fresh looking warm cucumber salad to go with some mackerel.
We decided to give it a go for tea, but instead of mackerel, we thought some griddled halloumi would do the job. It really worked. The contrast between the rich, salty cheese and the fresh, herby salad was lovely and the cooked cucumber, particularly the griddled hearts, made this a super fresh summery tea.
The recipe can be found on the BBC website (the salad is under garnish for some reason), but this is what we did to turn it into a meal fit for a hungry vegetarian:
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 large cucumber
3 tbsp shallots (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
2½ tbsp white wine vinegar
150g broad beans (double podded)
150g peas (frozen is fine)
2 tbsp chopped dill
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 pack of halloumi, sliced
Sea salt and black pepper
Pea shoots or similar salad leaves
Prepare the cucumber by peeling then cutting the whole cucumber heart out. Cut ½ of the remaining cucumber into 1cm chunks, and grate the other half. You’re just after the juices from this bit so squeeze the grated cucumber into a bowl and set aside. To sum up, because I’m worried I’m being confusing, from your whole cucumber you should now have one long cucumber heart, some 1cm pieces and about 4tbsp of cucumber juice (you can saved the grated bits for tzatziki).
Boil the peas briefly, the cool in iced water. Set to one side. Do the same with the broad beans, then double-pod them by squeezing the beans out of the skin. Set aside.
Season the cucumber heart then place it in a hot griddle pan along with your halloumi slices. Cook until both have lovely stripes across them.
In the meantime, cook the remaining cucumber pieces in some olive oil until they start to colour, then reduce the heat and add the garlic and shallots, stirring for about 2 minutes. Then add the white wine vinegar to the pan and stir until almost absorbed. This will make the cooked cucumber slightly pickled and delicious.
Now add the peas, broad beans, cucumber juice and herbs. Stir together briefly to heat, then get ready to serve. Pile the pea and bean mixture on your plate and top with the griddled cucumber heart (diced up) and your slices of halloumi. Serve with pea shoots, or any similar salad leaves. Eat up.