This salad is exploding with amazing flavors of roasted carrots and beetroots, basil pesto and grilled haloumi.
Who loves salad? I do, hands raised high. But seriously the last thing I feel like munching on sometimes is a bowl of leafy green. Especially when it is not particularly warm outside. I want a salad with substance, filled with mouth-watering flavors and fascinating textures. And that is exactly what this salad offers.
Bright orange carrots roasted to perfection. Soft textured but still with the knowing that this is a crunchy substance. Added to earthy beetroot that had been roasted in red wine. Giving depth in flavor and colour. Placed on top of a bed of warm orzo that has been swirled with basil pesto. I like to use one that has chunky bits of nut in it for a crunchy texture.
OK, but lets not muck around here, I’m going to be honest, the best part about this salad is the grilled haloumi…uummm grilled cheese. Who don’t love that right? I love this cheese and it is always a treat when I get to eat it. And if you haven’t tried it well my friend you are missing out big time. Luckily though you have me to introduce you to life’s hidden treasures.
These ingredients combined make for a killer salad that can be eaten for lunch or dinner but is also great as a side dish. And the beauty of this salad is that it is great warm or cold making it a year round salad.
- 3-4 medium sized beets peeled and diced (about ¾ inch)
- ⅓ cup red wine
- 3 large carrots peeled and roughly chopped into lengths (about 2 inches x ½ inch)
- salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ lb (250g) orzo pasta
- ½ cup basil pesto
- 6 oz (170g) haloumi cheese
- ¼ cup plain flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Heat oven to 390 (200C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and throw in the beetroot. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover with aluminium foil and put in oven for 30 minutes.
- Line another baking tray or pan with parchment paper and add the carrot. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- After the time is up for the beetroot, take care to remove the aluminium foil gently to avoid burning your hand from the steam. Add the red wine to the tray and return to the oven along with the tray of carrots for 15 minutes. Remove both trays from the oven, stir and return for another 10-15 minutes until done (when a sharp pointed knife goes into the beets easily they are done).
- Cook orzo pasta according to instructions, drain and place in a mixing bowl. Stir through the basil pesto, give it a taste and see if you need to add any salt and pepper.
- Slice the haloumi cheese into strips that are about ¼ inch thick. Heat1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frypan over a medium to high heat. Place the flour on a plate or board and dip each side of the haloumi in the flour then fry for about a minute on each side or until golden brown.
- To assemble the salad, place the orzo in four bowls, top with the roast veges and finally the haloumi while its still warm.