Author Notes: Well didn't I just make this in class last week! It was "salad" day in my H'ors Doeuvres & Apps class, and I was looking and cooking for an A. In class I made Feta & Goat Cheese Fritters to go with this, but I have access to a deep fryer there. At home I would grill small chunks of halloumi for that salty cheesy bite. I used those big fat yellow tomatoes shop through with hot pink, because that's what they had at my local farmers. I was lucky enough to have 2 different types of cucumbers on hand, which added another dimension to this salad. The Gazpacho Vin" is a fabulous way to use up and small bits and odds and ends from the weeks salad makings. - Aliwaks - Aliwaks
Food52 Review: Aliwaks's multicomponent salad brings together different textures and flavors. The crunchy pita chips, the gooey cheese and the multidimensional vinaigrette all compliment the beautiful heirloom tomatoes. - Stephanie - A&M
For the salad
- 2-3-0r 4 Prettiest Heirlooms you can find
- 1 package halloumi cheese (can sub feta)
- 2 pitas
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil or Garlic oil
- 1 clove garlic (if you don't have garlic oil)
- 1/4 cup Fresh mint
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsely
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pimenton or pimento d'espellette, or just plain old spanish paprika, whatever you have
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 3/4 cups Olive oil
- 1 pinch cumin
- 1/4 cup Cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely diced
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced watermelon
- 1 tablespoon diced celery (peeled)
- 1/4 cup finely diced tomato (use the tops & bottoms!)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red or orange pepper (peeled)
- Salt & pepper
- tiny mint leaves for garnish
- Cut Halloumi in to 1" cubes
- Tear Pita in to irregular pieces @ 1" all around
- Blend herbs with garlic oil, lemon zest & lemon juice. Taste, season with salt & pepper
- Pour herb/lemon mixture over Cheese & Pita bits, toss well
- Remove pita bits and lay cookie rack over a sheet pan, and toast in 350 degree oven, @10-15 min or so till crunchy (can be done ahead and kept in air tight container), alternatively you can sautee these as you would a crouton until they get crispy.
- Set a pot of salted water up to boil & a bowl of ice & cold water for blanching.
- Whisk together, Sherry vinegar, smashed garlic clove, cumin & paprika (or pimenton)...slowly add olive oil to emulsify. (if you do this in blender, consider adding only half the garlic. Taste , adjust seasoning, adding more oil if needed
- Mix the tiny veg dice into the vinaigrette and put in fridge (@ 10 min)
- With a very sharp knife, make an X at the base of each tomato, plunge the tomatoes into the pot of water, count to 10 and then scoop then out with a slotted spoon and plunge them in to the ice bath.*
- Count to 10 again, and then carefully peel the tomatoes.
- Slice thinly, starting at the base and working towards the top
- Lay the tomatoes in slightly overlapping layers on a flat platter or plate. It should resemble a mosaic, or a cross section of a Chihuly glass sculpture. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt & pepper.
- Heat a non stick pan till very hot, add halloumi cubes, and sear on two sides (or you can grill).
- Spoon the vinaigrette across the middle of the tomatoes in a thin line (so it's like a stripe)
- Strew Cheese Cubes, Pita bits and Baby Mint leaves around the platter, sprinkle with additional pimenton if you wish.
- * You don't have to blanch the tomatoes, I do, because it makes them every so slightly easier to eat without using a knife.
- This would be fantastic as a starter or side to a dinner of grilled lamb marinated in lots of garlic & herbs. Or you can easily add a protein to this to make it a main course salad..grilled shrimp, scallops, some leftover lobster, it would also take well to grilled chicken..or white flesh fish.