Warm Cavolo Nero, Sweet Potato and Halloumi Salad
On days when I work from home, I like to make a nice healthy lunch to take a break from the desk and to get energy for the afternoon without feeling too tired after eating. Warm salads are a great winter alternative to soups.
When I put together this warm salad with sautéed sweet potatoes and toasted halloumi it instantly became my favourite.
I look in the fridge to see what’s available to combine with winter greens such as curly kale or cavolo nero and then I experiment. When I put together this warm salad with sautéed sweet potatoes and toasted halloumi it instantly became my favourite.
This recipe is from Misa Hay’s cookbook A Year in my Shetland Garden, available in shops around Shetland and online. Misa’s collection of recipes is inspired by her beloved garden, local Shetland produce and wild plants. The recipes are flavoured by her Czech heritage and her travels as well as by Scottish classics and Shetland specialities.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 sweet potatoes (approx 300g), peeled, cut into 1cm chunks
- 2 tsp Moroccan spice rub (ingredients and instructions to make this are below)
- A bunch of cavolo nero (approx 150g), tough stalks removed, chopped roughly
- 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 packet halloumi (approx 225g) 50g radishes, sliced thinly
- Chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I like chives or flat leaf parsley, and you can also use dry herbs)
- In a small frying pan, heat the coconut oil and sauté the sweet potato until soft, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the spice mix and sauté for a further 5 minutes, until golden. At this point, your kitchen will start smelling delicious, with an aroma of coconut and mellow spices. Set aside.
- Put the cavolo nero, olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice and salt and pepper into a medium bowl, and mix well. You can even massage the leaves gently to make them more tender.
Add the cooked sweet potato mixture to the cavolo nero and stir through. Add the sliced radishes, to give the salad some crunch.
- Cut the halloumi into 0.5cm slices and toast in a dry pan, turning frequently until the cheese starts turning brown.
- Place the toasted halloumi on the top of the salad and serve with a sprinkling of chopped herbs.
The salad is delicious on its own or you can use it as a side with meat such as grilled pork chops or roasted chicken. It keeps well in the fridge for 2 days without losing its crunchiness. You can warm it up in a microwave, too – give it a 1-minute blast.
Tip: Try adding a sliced apple – this brings extra sweetness and TIP crunch to the salad. Or you can also sprinkle over seeds and nuts of your choice.
Halloumi cooking tip: Soak in cold water for a while (at least a few minutes, longer if possible) before you use it – this makes it fluffier and less squeaky.
For the Moroccan Spice rub
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
Blitz all the spices in a blender. (This mix will keep in an airtight jar for up to a year.)
Misa runs Shetland Wool Adventures offering knitting and hiking tours in Shetland for small groups. Recently she launched the first volume of the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal featuring photography, knitting patterns, recipes and more. Visit www.shetlandwooladventures.com