When is a salad not a salad? I'm not entirely sure where the threshold is - this recipe is more like a meal - but I'm happy to consume any delicious medleys of food that come my way, so I won't get too picky about it.
It is at least packed full of vegetables - perfect for right now, with plenty of courgettes and cherry tomatoes, and doesn't take very long to throw together - around ten minutes from start to finish.
Bonus points if you have the produce in your garden - we're working on courgettes, but they're not ready yet, and I reckon next year we'll have a crack at growing cherry tomatoes, because they're so versatile and delicious but kinda pricey in the shops.
We've also planted a lime tree and mint, but I don't think the neighbours would like it if we got a cow so perhaps we'll stop with vegetables for home-produced ingredients. To be honest, our track record with plants isn't that great, so keeping livestock is, I suspect, far too great of a commitment. Not to mention that a mountain goat would be more at home than a cow on our very Wellington section... I am glad for that supermarket down the road!
I've now made this recipe a couple of different ways so I can tell you it's also pretty good with fried feta, but haloumi takes out the prize (and is easier to fry - fried feta is amazing but fragile). I also tried it with lemon instead of lime in the dressing, which works, it's just slightly less zingy.
Do you have a productive veggie patch at your place? Or are you like me, and aspire to grow things but maybe not so green-thumbed?
Couscous, grilled veg and haloumi salad (adapted from BBC Good Food)
250ml vegetable or chicken stock
400g can chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium or large courgettes
Punnet of cherry tomatoes
75ml olive oil
juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
½ tsp sugar
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil. Remove from heat, add couscous and cover for five minutes.
Drain and rinse chickpeas.
In a large frypan, heat olive oil. Chop courgette into 1cm slices and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove from frypan. Chop cherry tomatoes in half and place cut side down in the frypan for a couple of minutes, until lightly grilled. Remove from frypan.
Chop haloumi into batons about 1cm thick and 5cm long. Add a little extra oil to the frypan and cook until golden brown.
Finely chop garlic and mint, then combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Toss chickpeas and half the dressing with the couscous then place in a large salad bowl. Layer courgettes, tomato and haloumi on top, then drizzle over the remaining dressing. Can be served immediately or allowed to cool.