Monday, 5 November 2007

Roast Tomato, Mushroom, Haloumi Salad

We had gorgeous weather on the weekend and after a day out and about I whipped together a hearty but summery salad that went down quite a treat. It was late in the afternoon and we were going out for dinner so I didn’t want anything too much, yet we were really hungry.

It was a taste sensation, with sweet rich tomatoes, salty hot cheese, tangy soft mushrooms and peppery rocket.

Oven-dried tomatoes
Portobello mushrooms
Balsamic vinegar
Seeded mustard
Olive oil
1 lemon, juiced

I had an excess of tomatoes and for the first time tried oven-dried tomatoes, which I popped into the oven before we went out. Oven-drying tomatoes brings out their flavour and sweetness ten-fold.

Heres how I did it:

Preheat oven to 100°C.

Remove core from tomatoes and halve or quarter lengthwise (this depends on the look that you want - halved tomatoes will take longer to dry). Sprinkle cut surfaces with salt and pepper.

Place tomatoes, cut side up on wire racks over baking trays; bake in preheated oven 1 - 4 hours. Check tomatoes to test their dryness. If necessary bake further until dried as desired.

I worked at a fancy Indian restaurant some years ago, and one of my favourite things on the menu were Tandoori Mushrooms. I stayed on at this restaurant much longer than I should have as I loved the team we had there, but also in the naive hope that I would gain some of secrets to their famous recipes. I always asked questions and tried to pick up what the cooks were up too, but didn’t have too much luck. The mushrooms are probably the closest I can get to anything they made. I have attempted those mushrooms often, and although they’re not perfectly like the ones at my old work place, they’re fantastic.

What I do is, combine some balsamic vinegar, seeded mustard, and salt and pepper and a splash of water and let the mushrooms seep up this mixture. Next, I remove them from the marinade and put them under a hot grill for 5-10 minutes. You can serve these as a great appetiser or on bruschetta with fresh coriander or basil.

Next I sliced up the haloumi, heated up a little olive oil in a fry and pan added the slices of haloumi cheese. After a minute or less, I turned them to cook the other side. I removed them from the frypan and allowed the cheese to drain on paper towels.

Now combine it all, add the washed rocket leaves, fried haloumi, mushrooms, tomatoes, and dress with a little olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper and serve with some nice bread.



surya said...

yum. sounds like mum's perfect salad.

meli said...

that looks completely amazing...

Deborah said...

What a treat!! I'm so jealous that you are in summer instead of the cold that we have!!