Is there anything better than the squidgy saltiness of just-fried halloumi? Maybe – when it’s coated in a spiced crumb and served with fragrant fennel and bitter chicory. You can make this gluten-free by switching the plain flour for chickpea flour. We also love this with harissa yogurt instead of the lemon yogurt sauce, or with harissa on its own, thinned with a little extra-virgin olive oil. If chicory is too bitter for you, choose any crisp, firm-leafed lettuce. –Rebecca Seal
Halloumi Fries With Chicory Salad
- 2 heads chicory broken into leaves, core removed and large leaves halved
- ½ head fennel finely sliced
- 3½ oz (100 g) cucumber thinly sliced on an angle, then halved
- leaves from 3 sprigs of mint torn if large
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 4 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 pinch unwaxed lemon zest
- 1 small clove of garlic crushed
- 1 generous pinch salt
- vegetable oil for cooking
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp each ground cumin and paprika
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 8oz (225 g) blocks halloumi cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) fingers
- Place all the salad ingredients, except the pomegranate seeds, in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat everything in the olive oil, lemon and salt. Set aside.
- Stir the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour a 1cm (1⁄2 in) depth of cooking oil into a wide frying pan set over medium heat. Place the flour and spices in a bowl and gently toss the halloumi fingers in the mixture to coat. Carefully place the halloumi in the hot oil, arranging the fingers in a single layer – you may need to work in batches. After a minute or two, the fries will be golden on the bottom. Use tongs to turn each one and cook the other sides – you may need to turn any thicker pieces more than once to cook the sides, too. Once golden all over, remove from the heat and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
- Divide the salad among 4 plates and arrange the halloumi fries on top. You can either serve the sauce on the side, for dipping, or spoon it over. Scatter the pomegranate seeds over each plate just before serving.