It’s worth making this mint, halloumi and green lentil salad for the smells alone. Cherry tomatoes on the vine have that gentle soothing smell, full of the warmth of the sun. I’ve gone for Vittoria ones here and they also taste so good. Having yellow ones in the mix too is an added bonus. The mint is similarly fragrant and it’s smell works so well with the tomatoes. Then a gentler smell, the pine nuts as they come out of the oven. I pinched a few from the baking tray … they taste so good, almost creamy, and they have their slight crunchy too. The lightly browned halloumi, still warm from the pan, brings it’s bold flavour and adds further spark to this salad as you eat it. The onion is sharp and gives the salad that little punch. The simple dressing of oil and vinegar brings the whole salad together. It’s a hearty mint, halloumi and green lentil salad while still having the freshness that a salad gives.
This week has been a busy one. Earlier in the week I was feeling overwhelmed like there was too much to do. I loved how sorted I felt once I had written my to do list and planned when I would do everything. It’s crazy how good that simple task makes me feel. Suddenly I was on top of it all. I had made this salad on Monday and it sorted suppers for a few nights for Dave and me. Can’t say that JP was keen on it though, he preferred his jacket potato with cheese and a few sticks of cucumber, thank you very much.
You’ll remember that two Sundays ago we did the JDRF One Walk in Central Scotland to mark me living with type one diabetes for twenty years. It was a wonderful day packed full of people living with and affected by type one. I must share this photo of Dave, GP (in sling) Rufus (JDRF’s mascot) and I. JP was occupied on the bouncy castle just at this point. Thank you so much to everyone who generously supported my fundraising. It was so so decent of you. Funds are still being accepted for the next week or two if you have yet to get in on the game.
Right, back to this mint, halloumi and green lentil salad. What’s great about it is that it’s quick and easy to make. For lunch I serve it with humous and warm bread. To make a filling dinner, I partner it with a jacket potato. Even dressed it happily sits in the fridge for a day or two, meaning we could eat it for a few nights and I won’t be having to sort supper each time. You can try leaving out the halloumi from your fridged salad and then serve it freshly fried. Dave likes to do this and I must be honest and admit that freshly fried is definitely better than halloumi fried two days ago. But how much time have you got?
Mint, halloumi and green lentil salad
- Prep Time: 8 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 - 6
- 200g green lentils
- 100g pine nuts
- 125g halloumi, sliced into 3/4cm/1/3” and then cut each slice into quarters.
- 350g cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 30g mint, remove stalks and roughly chop
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 1½ tbsp white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the lentils in a pan of boiling water until soft but still holding their shape, about 8-12 minutes. Drain off.
- Toast the pine nuts. Either fry them in a non stick frying pan stirring frequently to ensure they don’t catch. Or, as I prefer, put them in the oven at 180C/160C fan/355F/Gas mark 4 for 6-10 minutes. Set a timer – I’ve burnt too many nuts over the years.
- Fry the halloumi on both sides in a non stick pan until brown. You shouldn’t need any oil but keep an eye on them as halloumi can go from not brown enough to burnt only too easily.
- In a mug or small bowl, season the oil and then add in the vinegar.
- Lastly in a large bowl mix together all the ingredients and serve while still warm.