A beautiful salad to welcome Fall. A perfect flavor balance with salty grilled haloumi, sweet Turkish figs and tangy Persian pomegranates and a splash of fresh lemon.
Haloumi is a goat's milk cheese from Cyprus and is very versatile as it holds its texture on the grill to a beautiful golden brown. Other similar textured cheeses are Akawi and Baladi which are also popular all over the Middle East.
Figs (Anjeer)are native to Asia Minor and popular all over the world. In hot climates it is a common fruit and adds an exotic value tag in colder countries. Wasps help pollinate figs.The four types of figs are:
Capri or wild figs - Produces succulent fruits.
Smyrna figs- The light brown fruits have a distinctive nutty flavor.
Mission figs- Also known as common figs are a deep purple black outside and red inside. It has a rather coarse texture with a sweet taste.
San Pedro figs- Is a lesser know variety and has an intermediate flavor between Smyrna and Mission.
Pomegranate (Anar) is native to Persia current day Iran where it grows wild. The bright red seeds are a rich source of Iron. It is used predominantly as a souring agent. Pomegranate Molasses is used in Fatoush salad and in Indian food Anar dhana (Pomegranate seed) powder acts as a souring agent in curries and kebabs.
Grenadine syrup is made from pomegranate which is used in many beverage, adds a bright red color and a distinctive taste.
Haloumi cheese - 100g sliced 1/2 inch thick
Turkish figs - 2 each
pomegranate - 1/2 a fruit
lemon juice -50ml
olive oil - 150ml
salt, black pepper and sugar- to taste
Grill the sliced haloumi on a hot grill till it gets a golden brown color.(1-2 minutes)
Wash, pat dry and slice figs into wedges.
In a mixing bowl place the lemon juice, salt, freshly crushed pepper and sugar and start whisking until it dissolves.
Start adding the olive oil in a steady stream and keep whisking until it forms an emulsion. Check seasoning. Add the pomegranate seeds and whisk for a minute. The color will turn to a beautiful pale pink and as it macerates it will take a dark hue. Drizzle generously over the grilled halomi and figs and Voila!
Enjoy with a glass of Australian Shriaz or Rioja Reserva...
Other serving Ideas
Haloumi and Sunchoke bruchetta
Fig and vanilla marmalade on rye bread
Sweet pomegranate raita or just sprinkled on Tadiq (Crisp saffron rice from Iran)