Halloumi and Fennel salad

We, as a family, adore halloumi cheese.  So when I spotted this recipe for Halloumi and Fennel Salad in The Lady magazine, I thought it would be good to try. Cooking the fennel seems to soften the taste and the combination with the orange dressing is quite delicious.

Halloumi and Fennel saladHalloumi and Fennel salad

Ingredients serves 4 – 6
2 fennel bulbs (about 400g in weight) cut into 1-cm thick slices
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A large handful of watercress, rocket or lettuce leaves
A handful of seedless green or red grapes, halved
250g Halloumi cheese, cut into 0.5 cm slices
A few fronds of wild fennel or dill, stems discarded
Salt & pepper
For the dressing:
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
100ml freshly squeezed orange juice (approx 2 small oranges)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add the fennel slices and boil for 5-10 mins or until just tender, and drain.

Lay the fennel slices on a baking tray, brush with the oil and season. Roast for 20-30 mins or until they start to burn. Little crispy areas are good. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, for the dressing, put the orange zest and juice in a small frying pan over a medium heat, and leave it to bubble gently until reduced by about half.

Leave to cool. When cool, mix with the oil, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Lay the leaves on a large platter and top with the fennel and grapes.

Dry-fry the halloumi slices, in a non-stick frying pan, on each side for a couple of minutes or until just golden, and add to the salad. Drizzle over the dressing, season with black pepper and scatter over the fennel or dill fronds.

Serve straight away or the halloumi will harden.