Author Notes: I believe the first incarnation of this recipe came from Gourmet magazine, but it tends to change a bit every time I make it, so I've claimed it as my own! I've served this in large portions as a vegetarian main course, and also as a starter. The ragout is great as a bruschetta topping, spooned over a slice of garlic-rubbed, grilled bread, and topped with the haloumi and a spritz of lemon. The bean ragout is open to endless revision as well. I've substituted asparagus for the green beans, lima beans (and even black eyed peas) for the fava beans, parsley, chives, and dill for the mint (although the mint does work best with the haloumi and lemon, I think). - ChristineB
Serves 4 (main) or 8-10 (appetizer or bruschetta)
- 2 packets haloumi cheese (each 8 12 ounces)
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces (or asparagus)
- 2 cups blanched and peeled fava beans, or about 10 ounces frozen fava beans, or frozen baby lima beans, if you can't find any fava beans
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 lemons
- 10 sprigs mint, finely chopped (substitute: small bunch parsley, chives, or dill)
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and have an ice bath ready. Blanch all the beans and peas until tender (make sure the green beans/asparagus are still a little crisp), and immediately shock them in the ice bath to preserve color and texture. Drain, and set aside.
- Cut the haloumi into 1/2 inch thick slices and set aside to fry right before serving. Also, cut one of the lemons into wedges to be served alongside the finished dish.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, the zest and juice of one of the lemons, and all of the drained beans. Saute for about five minutes, until everything is heated through, then turn off the heat, taste for seasoning (adding salt if necessary), and toss in the chopped mint.
- Spoon the ragout into the serving dish(es), then put the pan back onto the burner, over medium high heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.
- Fry haloumi slices until dark golden brown and crispy. Top the ragout with the fried haloumi, and serve immediately, passing lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over the fried cheese.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Vegetable Recipe