My husband and I took our honeymoon in New Zealand. We rented a campervan and drove around the south island for a while, stopping whenever we felt like it and staying in well-appointed campsites or local producers’ yards (we used a program called okay2stay which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND). One of the places we parked for the night was a roadside cheese shop (Yes, New Zealand IS the best). We bought fresh haloumi and grilled it outside the van for dinner, along with some eggs and fresh zucchini from another of our overnight farm spots. It was divine and I came home with a hankering for haloumi.
The food in New Zealand was actually really good. I say actually because we were expecting fish & chips, meat, and cheese. What we found was that nearly every cafe had a baller fresh salad, usually with some great turkish or morroccan flavors going on. The New Zealanders love their grain salads and muesli parfaits. We were in heaven.
Which brings me to this salad in particular. When we were in Auckland I had a legit bathroom emergency. I ran into the nearest coffee shop, which was EMPTY, of course, and buzzed right past the 2 people working and into the loo. When I got out I had to act like this was part of my plan all along, I DEFINITELY wasn’t thinking of peeing and fleeing (or….whatever else I might’ve done in there). So I ordered a blueberry muffin and they painfully toasted it for about 5 minutes. In that time I browsed some magazines and found an amazing food one called Delicious. It had PAGES of wonderfully constructed, interesting salads (I looked into subscribing when I got home but of course it cost like $2495 to ship to the US). I quickly snapped photos and waited for my muffin so I could get the hell out of that awkward and empty coffee shop. Long story short, this is one of them. So you can thank my bowels for this one. I promise you it’s worth it.
Ancient Grain Salad with Pan-Friend Haloumi
3/4 cup farro (pearled) or freekeh
1/2 cup quinoa
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
500g haloumi, cut into 3cm pieces
1 bunch each mint and coriander (cilantro), leaves picked
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
150g seedless black grapes, halved
1/3 cup (55g) pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over med-high heat. Add farro and cook for 15 minutes, then add quinoa and cook for a further 20 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water and drain.
Heat oil in large frypan over medium heat (I used a grill pan). Cook haloumi, in catches, for 1-2 minutes each side until golden. Finely chop half the herbs and combine with grains, chickpeas, grapes, and pistachios.
Combine dressing ingredients, season and toss through salad. Serve salad topped with haloumi and remaining herbs.