Tesco’s Express may seem to be the sort of place where all salad is bagged, or of the iceberg variety, and all vegetables come from Kenya. But I was surprised to see that although it did have those uninspiring mixed (and rather limp) salads, and baby sweetcorn and beans from Africa, it also had English spinach and baby tomatoes, as well as rather perky-looking Italian rocket. Okay, it’s not the widest choice in the world but it’s enough to make a really good salad like this. I ate it with a side order of homemade chips from my friend’s new deep-fat fryer; an odd but strangely delicious combination.
For 2-3 you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
Sea salt and black pepper (to season)
Good olive oil
Juice of half a lime or, failing that, about 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 packet of halloumi (usually around 200g)
Good handful of cherry tomatoes per person (about 200g in total)
1. Heat the oven to about 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 then, once up to temperature, put the cherry tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper then roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised around the edges. The longer and slower you cook them the better, apparently, because they end up tasting like sun-dried tomatoes. I suppose it depends on whether you like sun-dried tomatoes…
2. Meanwhile, wash the rocket (having read this I’d advise you to always wash every salad leaf from a supermarket that is bagged) and spin dry in a salad spinner or leave to drain in a sieve/colander.
3. Make the dressing. Put sea salt and black pepper in the bottom of a bowl, add the juice of the lime (depending on how acid you like it you may need to add a little more) and then whisk in about two tablespoons of olive oil to taste. I think vinaigrette is a very personal thing: if you find it too acid then add something sweet, like sugar or honey and, vice versa, if it’s too sweet add some more lime juice or vinegar. Pour most of it over the drained rocket in a bowl and toss to coat the leaves.
4. When the tomatoes look almost ready, fry the halloumi. To do this, cut the block of cheese lengthways into about nine slices, heat some oil in a frying or griddle pan over a medium heat then fry/grill the pieces on each side until crisp and golden. This will take about 2-3 minutes for each side, depending on the heat used.
5. Finally, put the dressed rocket in the middle of the plates, dot the roasted tomatoes around it, place the halloumi slices in the centre then drizzle over the last bit of dressing.