Arugula (also known as rocket or roquette) is a crisp and peppery cruciferous vegetable. Its slender, lobular leaves are packed with fiber and vitamins such as folate, C, E, and K. Like all cruciferous vegetables, arugula is also rich in phytonutrients believed to reduce the risk of cancer.
This week’s recipe for My Big Fat Halloumi Salad is a low-fat Mediterranean delight. It was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She began sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes and testing of new recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has since become a company tradition.
“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
– Harriet Van Horne
My Big Fat Halloumi Salad
Salad Adapted from Food52 (https://food52.com/recipes/print/85602) Sohla El-Waylly (downloaded May 8, 2021)
Oven-roasted Chickpeas Basically, Bon Appétit (https://www.bonappetit.com/story/oven-roasted-chickpeas) Sarah Jampel (April 3, 2020)
- 1 small eggplant (~7 oz), halved lengthwise and sliced into ½-inch moons
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup oven-roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (See recipe below)
- 3 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup arugula
- ½ small head radicchio (~5 ounces), cored and cut into bite-size pieces
- ⅓ cup parsley leaves and tender stems, lightly packed
- ¼ cup sliced or chopped almonds, toasted
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 tangerine, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds or half-moons, seeds removed (Sliced kumquats are a good alternative, when available)
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or to taste (More may be needed to cut the acidity of the dressing)
- 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
- 1½ teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- Oven-roasted Chickpeas
- 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed in a colander (Drained home-cooked chickpeas can be substituted)
- ~2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place a sheet pan in the oven and heat to 450°F.
- In a large bowl, toss eggplant with olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and sugar, toss to coat, and spread onto the heated sheet pan. Roast until the bottom of the eggplant is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and move the eggplant to one side of the pan. Drizzle the remaining oil on the other side of the pan and add the halloumi cheese. Return to the oven and cook until the bottom of the eggplant is brown and tender, and the underside of the cheese is crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in the same large bowl until well combined. Transfer 1 Tbsp of dressing to a small bowl. Add the radicchio, arugula and parsley to the large bowl and toss. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt or honey as needed. Place the dressed mixture on a large plate and arrange eggplant, chickpeas, almonds, dates, tangerines, and warm cheese on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve right away. (Alternatively, toss the eggplant, chickpeas, almonds, dates, and tangerines with the arugula mixture, then place the salad on a large plate. Arrange warm cheese on top and drizzle with remaining dressing.)
- Oven-roasted Chickpeas
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, positioning a rack in the middle. Drain the chickpeas into a colander and rinse with water. Dry the chickpeas by rubbing them in a towel; this will also cause the white outer layers to separate. It is not necessary to be meticulous about removing every outer layer, but denuded chickpeas will take on more color in the oven.
- Transfer the chickpeas to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes to dry further. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and drizzle generously with the olive oil; there should be an oil slick on the bottom of the sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine. Continue to roast the chickpeas, shaking the baking sheet once or twice, for up to 30–40 minutes, or until bronzed. (Note: I prefer roasting them for about 15 minutes for the salad.)
- Note: This recipe is for a chickpea snack in place of potato chips. The texture is best when the chickpeas are fresh from the oven.
The salad ingredients are for a single serving; you will need to multiply accordingly for the number to be served.
Halloumi (Greek) or hellim (Turkish) cheese is from Cyprus and is traditionally prepared from goat’s and/or sheep’s milk, although cow’s milk is sometimes used. It is semihard, unripened, and brined, with a slightly spongy texture and a tangy and salty flavor reminiscent of Wisconsin cheese curds. When grilled or fried, halloumi becomes beautifully crisp and savory on the outside and a little melted on the inside. The resistance to melting comes from heating the fresh curd before it is shaped and placed in brine. Halloumi is sold in vacuum-packed, compact bricks, similar to feta cheese.
Arugula (or rocket), a salad green of the cruciferous family, is deep green in color with deep notches up and down both sides. It has a tart, peppery flavor.
The recipe does not specify a type of radicchio, which is a member of the chicory family. All have a structural sturdiness and a distinct bitterness that serves to balance the sweet ingredients in the salad. Chioggia, the most common variety, grows in cabbage-like heads of wine-red leaves with bright white veins; Treviso has deep purple to red leaves with white ribs and grows in elongated heads similar to endive.
Deglet Noor is the date variety most often available in the US, accounting for 95% of production. It has shiny skin, firm flesh, and color ranging from light red to amber. Medjools, sometimes called the Cadillac of dates, are large, sweet, moist, meaty, and firm-textured.
Sumac is a coarse reddish-purple powder ground from the berries of the culinary shrub Rhus coriaria. It is used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a tart lemony taste, most commonly in the spice blend za’atar.
Aleppo pepper, named after a northern Syrian city, is a burgundy-colored chile also known as Halaby pepper. When ripe, the peppers are semi-dried, de-seeded, coarsely ground, and used as a condiment or spice in Middle Eastern cooking. Aleppo pepper has a slow-building, soft heat with earthy, cumin-like undertones and a little fruity tang.