I came up with this salad when I had only 5 minutes to cook; using leftovers in my fridge and cupboard – I was amazed, if I say so myself with the end result. It requires about 5-10 minutes preparation and can then be shoved in the oven for 30 minutes.
Fennel and cherry tomatoes are a fantastic combination when roasted, and with the halloumi added in, although by no means necessary makes this really quite a special dish. You can also miss out the chickpeas and pomegranate, if you are just say serving as a starter. You can play around with this, trying out different herbs and toasted nuts or seeds would also work well. Although I would normally (dry) fry halloumi, you can just as easily put it in the oven, as I have done here. If you are serving with halloumi, make sure you eat it straight away whilst the halloumi is still hot (it’s not nearly as tasty once it’s cooled down).
2 Fennel bulbs cut into 1cm slices
150g of cherry tomatoes (any colour or a combination) cut in half
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
250g of halloumi cut into 0.5cm slices
Seeds of half a pomegranate
1 teaspoon of smoked (my preference!) or sweet paprika
half teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Few thyme sprigs (optional)
Place the fennel in a large oven proof dish, mix with olive oil lemon juice, thyme sprigs, chilli flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Place in pre-heated 180c oven for 35 minutes. After 15 minutes take it out the oven, add in the chickpeas, stir, add in the cherry tomatoes and put back in the oven. Squeeze half a lemon over the halloumi. 5 minutes before the end add the halloumi to the dish, turning over after a few minutes – once it starts to take some colour. Remove from the oven and remove the thyme sprigs. Arrange the fennel, tomato and halloumi combination on separate plates. Sprinkle over chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds and serve straight away