Cucumber fennel salad with halloumi

By Craig Wong
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SERVES
4

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 3 English cucumbers
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 7 tablespoons (105 milliliters) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup (360 milliliters) white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) water

Fried halloumi:

  • 227 grams halloumi cheese, drained and cut into 1 centimeter slices
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 60 milliliters ouzo, for flambéing

Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) pine-nuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Fennel frond
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Special equipment:

  • French Mandoline with wide flat cutting blade

Directions

Salad:

  1. Cut cucumbers lengthwise and use a small spoon to remove the seeds.
  2. Use a mandoline with the wide cutting blade shave the cucumber horizontally to make fettucine pasta shaped strips.
  3. Core and shave the fennel into thin strips on the mandoline. 
  4. Peel and shave the shallots into thin rings on the mandoline.
  5. Combine the shaved cucumber, fennel, and shallots in a bowl.  Add sugar and salt and toss to combine, season with pepper.  Let the mixture rest for one minute.
  6. Add vinegar, water, cover and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fried halloumi:

  1. Preheat a nonstick frying pan over high heat 400 F (205 C).
  2. Dry the halloumi cheese slices by blotting them with a paper towel.
  3. Place the slices on a plate and brush both sides lightly with the olive oil to coat.
  4. Sear the cheese in the hot pan until each slice develops a deep brown crust, about one minute on each side.
  5. In the pan flambé the halloumi with ouzo.

To serve:

  1. Strain and discard the liquid from the salad.
  2. Place a slice of fried and flambéed halloumi on a plate.
  3. Top the haloumi with the salad.
  4. Garnish with toasted pine-nuts, and pomegranate seeds, fennel fronds, and olive oil.
  5. Serve while cheese is warm.

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