Ramadan is just around the corner and after being here for over 17 years, it’s truly is my favourite time of the year in Dubai. The festive spirit of Ramdan is pretty infectious ( I also love the fact that we have shorter working hours!) and I enjoy indulging in Arabic dishes like hummus, mandi, basboosa, Umm Ali to name a few.
There is always a feast for Ramadan on in every household that fasts and it’s usually involves a large amount of non veg dishes. Well, today I want to focus on an important aspect of the meal, which is salad. Fruits and salads are a must during Ramadan as the fasting body needs lots of nourishing food with more water content. So minimizing on the non veg portions and adding more of these raw fresh dishes will be good in the long run.
I make this Halloumi salad for special occasions only. Unfortunately, Halloumi is a really salty cheese, so it’s not something you can have on a daily basis, but works perfectly well for festive meals. Top it off with my homemade salad dressing and is super healthy combo. I have used raw apple cider vinegar for my dressing. Raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother) comes with a list of health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, relief from indigestion and a decreased risk of heart disease. And when combined with pure honey, it can also ward off bacterial infections. So have a go at this simple recipe, it’s uses very basic ingredients. Hope you like my easy Keto friendly recipe and don’t forgot to tag me in socials as #saffronbowl
2 cups of mixed salad leaves
½ cup cherry tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 pack halloumi cheese (usually its' a 250- 300 gm pack)
¼ cup salad dressing (homemade or store bought vinaigrette)
A handful of parsley leaves (optional)
Clean, wash salad leaves and set them to dry, salad leaves must always be fresh and have a crunch to it. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cucumber, slice the cherry tomatoes into half and slice the cucumber into thin roundels. You can even peel the cucumber, this is entirely upto you. Slice the halloumi cheese into long strips, like in the picture or even cubes, whichever shape works for you and grill it/ pan fry so it gets a nice crisp brown colour on the outside and still retains the softness inside. Once the cheese frying is done, set it aside to cool.
In a salad bowl or a platter start layering the lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomato and top this with the salad dressing. Then just before serving, add the salad dressing and toss it well, now arrange the Halloumi cheese strips on top, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve it immediately.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (if its a stronger tasting one, use less)
¼ cup honey
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Himalayan salt
½- 1 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
Take a clean jar or bottle (make sure it has a tight fitting screw-top lid), now start adding in all the above ingredients. Give it a good stir , close with the lid and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Just before you serve make sure you shake the jar very well for the ingredients to mix. Store bought salad dressings have additives and thickeners that help the ingredients bind , but that’s not the case when you made a homemade dressing, the biggest advantage of any homemade dressing is, you are in control of what goes in, and it’s minus any nasties.
Feel free to add more olive oil or more honey, it depends on what taste you prefer, I like it more tangy so I have added apple cider vinegar in a larger proportion.
Tip- Incase you don’t have raw apple cider vinegar, use regular apple cider vinegar or even lemon juice. And if you don’t have access to Halloumi cheese, you can even try this with buffalo mozerella or Feta (but just don’t grill it). Vegans can easily replace the cheese with dairy free cheese options that are widely available now in the stores.