Pear Salad with Haloumi, Parmesan, Slivers of Date and Toasted Pine Nuts

3:10 pm on 22 November 2013

Use fresh, supple dates and serve the salads immediately they are topped with fried haloumi. This makes an exquisite starter. Follow with fish or a pasta dish.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • salt and flaky sea salt
  • 3 perfectly ripe fragrant pears (or ripe peaches or nectarines)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups trimmed rocket leaves
  • 1 cos lettuce, trimmed, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup small mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g haloumi, cut into 5mm slices
  • butter
  • small wedge of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh dates, pits removed and cut into slivers
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges

Method

Heat a smidgen of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and add pine nuts. Toast briefly until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Peel pears, cut in half and remove cores. Slice finely, then toss gently with a little lemon juice. Put rocket leaves in a bowl with cos and mint. Whisk together lemon-infused olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt and pour over salad greens. Arrange greens on plates.

Pat haloumi dry with paper towels. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. When sizzling, add haloumi. Cook until golden. Arrange on top of salads. Top with pear slices. Shave over a little parmesan and scatter with pine nuts and date slivers.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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