TOMATO, HALLOUMI AND POMEGRANATE SALAD
It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything halloumi related, so I’m getting back in the game. Back in the game with a tomato, halloumi and pomegranate salad. You might have noticed that, of late, I’ve developed an obsession with orange blossom water. With this orange blossom and lemon syrup, or with this shaved carrot dressed orange blossom campari salad.
Further than that, I’ve had some run ins with the most gloriously sweet tomatoes. It is the peak of summer here in Australia, and tomato season is in full swing. I decided to make the most of the season by adding tomatoes to the mix with this tomato, halloumi and pomegranate salad. Why not combine all of my current loves?
This salad is a perfect al fresco, warm weather salad. It combines a few of my favourite middle eastern inspired flavours – pomegranate, orange blossom water and dukkah with the freshness of seasonal veg and the deliciousness of halloumi. It is gluten free, vegetarian, FODMAP friendly, and easily made vegan by substituting the halloumi for a vegan variety of cheese. Vegan halloumi (yes, it exists!) or vegan fetta would both be great choices.
It is actually also relatively quick to whip up, which is always nice. The dukkah will make more than enough for the salad, but I love having dukkah on hand to spruce up any number of dishes. You can make a half quantity if you prefer.
Some quick little bits and bobs:
- Pomegranate is considered FODMAP friendly in 45g servings by Monash. This salad serves 4-8 (depending on whether it’s a side or more of a main) so NO WORRIES THERE
- According to Monash, a 220g serve of cherry tomatoes is a ‘yellow light’ for their fructans content. As this salad serves 4-8, this quantity of tomato should be fine. If you’re particularly intolerant, try using common large tomatoes (sliced) or use roasted pumpkin instead.
- Sesame seeds are friendly in 1 tablespoon serves, whereas 6 tablespoon serves are considered unfriendly. Given that the dukkah is a condiment of sorts, and is mostly pine nuts, this should be fine. If concerned, you can increase the quantity of nuts and decrease the quantity of sesame seeds.
BLACK SESAME AND PINE NUT DUKKAH
What I love about dukkah is that it’s kind of a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of condiment. Don’t have any pine nuts? No worries, sub them out for another FODMAP friendly nut. If you need some substitution ideas, I have some suggestions in my cookbook, but you can also check out this website for some low FODMAP nut suggestions.
Personally, I love the combination of black sesame and pine nuts, but you do you. You can generally find black sesame at your local Asian grocery, but you can also buy them online here.
Tomato, pomegranate, halloumi and mint salad with black sesame pine nut dukkah and an orange blossom lemon dressing
For the tomato salad:
- 400-500 g cherry tomatoes, as good quality as you can afford
- 1 packet halloumi (roughly 250g)
- 100 g pomegranate arils (roughly 1 medium pomegranate)
For the orange blossom lemon dressing:
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
For the pine nut and black sesame dukkah
- 3/4 cup pine nuts (roughly 100g)
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds (or white, or a mix)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 bunch mint
- freshly cracked pepper
To make the orange blossom dressing:
- Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over a low-medium heat until a syrup forms. Set aside and allow to cool.
To make the pine nut and black sesame dukkah:
- Toast the pine nuts using your preferred method. I toasted mine gently over a medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan, but you can use the oven if you prefer.
- Toast the sesame seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds over a low-medium heat in the heavy bottomed saucepan. Allow to cook until fragrant. It's difficult to see when black sesame seeds are toasted, so sometimes a mixture of black and white is helpful here.
- Once toasted, combine all ingredients, and allow to cool slightly. When they have, blitz them once or twice in your food processor, to create your desired dukkah consistency. Store in an airtight container.
To finish the salad:
- Slice some tomatoes, and leave some whole. Place them in a large bowl with the pomegranate arils and half the mint. Add the orange blossom dressing, a good pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
- Slice the halloumi and cook it in a pan over a high heat. I like to add a tiny tiny bit of oil to assist in non-sticking.
- Arrange the salad on a serving platter of your choice, and add the freshly cooked halloumi. Garnish with the remaining mint, and a generous scattering of dukkah. Serve immediately.