It is about damn time I gift you with some halloumi content! It has truly been too long! Buckle up, my friends, because today this halloumi gift takes a marvellous form. It takes the form of a balsamic maple glazed orange, halloumi and radicchio salad, complete with a Sicilian olive tapenade.
Why a Sicilian olive tapenade, you ask? Firstly, and most selfishly, I am obsessed with Sicilian olives. Secondly, and importantly to others, FODMAP friendly olive tapenade recipes are few and far between. Also, I went in to my local pantry recently and there was a guy wondering aloud why tapenades were on the decline. WE’RE HERE TO BRING TAPENADE BACK, BABY. Because according to an anonymous man in a store, it was leaving. I can’t have that.
I did a little research on tapenade, and discovered that a tapenade is, in it’s most basic form, olives and capers. Although some contain anchovies, this is a vegetarian tapenade. Further than that, though, I wanted to make it a pretty bare bones tapenade. While I love herbs, I also love the idea of a tapenade that can be adapted to any cuisine it has the pleasure of being paired with. So, this bare bonesy Sicilian olive tapenade became a thing.
If you’re looking for things to put a Sicilian olive tapenade on, might I suggest it atop this FODMAP friendly vegan pesto pasta? Potentially even as a fancy exotic addition to this FODMAP friendly avocado hummus?
NOTES ON FODMAPS
Firstly, let’s chat tapenade. Neither olives nor capers had a detectable FODMAP content in the quantities used for the recipe. As a result, consider yourself free to slather this on anything and everything with reckless abandon. The other three ingredients (lemon juice, olive oil and cracked pepper) fare equally well. Hurrah for tapenade!
In terms of the halloumi, Monash deems the delicious morsel FODMAP approved in 2 slices per serve. Even as the halloumi fiend I am, I always find 2 slices completely satisfying.
Navel oranges, according to Monash, have no FODMAPs detected. This makes them a great fructose friendly, FODMAP friendly yet sweet addition to salads. I am as bitter as a radicchio (lol get it) that I can’t include things like sultanas in my salads. Oranges are a sweet substitute – sweet both in flavour in their propensity to not leave me foetal.
That is basically all I have to talk about in terms of FODMAPs (my poor word count!) All in all, this salad is a FODMAP home run.
You have plenty! The Sicilian olive tapenade be transformed into a dark and broody Italian (by using black olives and forgiving my average sense of humour.) It can also easily be adapted to be vegan using plant based halloumi or marinated grilled tofu. You could use a different citrus in place of the oranges, or you could refrain from searing them, and simply marinate them before throwing on top. So many choices, so little time.
Balsamic and maple glazed orange, halloumi, radicchio and FODMAP friendly Sicilian olive tapenade salad
For the balsamic maple glazed oranges:
- 2 large navel oranges cut into slices or wedges (wedges brown better in my opinion)
- 1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Sicilian olive tapenade:
- 1 cup pitted Sicilian olives (120g roughly) brine reserved
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1/4 cup olive brine
- Cracked pepper to taste
To finish the salad:
- 1 small head of radicchio sliced, chopped or leaves pulled off (I like a combination)
- 1-2 pieces of halloumi per person I buy bulk packets to save the plastic and so I have lots of halloumi, but a 220-250g pack will do
- Sea salt flakes and freshly cracked pepper to finish
- Peel and slice the oranges as per your preference. As I noted, the orange wedges seared up a lot more nicely than the slices. Something to consider.
- Place the oranges in a large bowl with the balsamic, maple and seasoning, and use your hands to gently toss and coat. Set aside to marinate.
- To make the tapenade, either quickly process the ingredients in food processor, or mash them up in a mortar and pestle. My processor is too quick for it’s own good, but ideally you will have a few little chunks of olives throughout. Decant and set aside.
- Arrange the radicchio on a large serving platter, ready to go. This will make the rest of the salad making seamless.
- Place a non-stick saucepan over a high heat, and allow it to heat up completely before placing 1/3 of the orange segments in the pan. You don’t want to crowd them. Allow them to cook for a minute or two, before gently flipping and repeating. You could have some char around the edges and a nice colour. Transfer the cooked pieces onto the radicchio.
- Once the orange segments are all cooked, it’s time to cook the halloumi. I like to dip mine in the remaining balsamic maple glaze, but that is optional. Allow each piece of halloumi to cook through and develop a beautiful colour before gently flipping. Transfer each cooked piece to the salad plate.
- Once everything is cooked, drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper, and serve while the halloumi is still gooey.