Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Grilled Haloumi, Spiced Courgette, Eggplant & Red Pepper Salad with Cashew & Tomato Cream

This Mediterranean-inspired salad is packed with barbecued flavour. 

Words & recipe: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson


½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 eggplants, sliced into 2cm rounds
2 large red peppers, halved, cored and cut into 1cm strips
2 small red onions, peeled, halved and thickly sliced
5 courgettes, sliced on an angle into 3cm to 4cm lengths
½ cup olive oil
200g halloumi, cut into 1cm slices
juice of half a lemon
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
20 to 30 mint leaves, sliced
Cashew & Tomato Cream (recipe follows)


Heat barbecue flat plate to medium hot. Place a small frying pan on the barbecue and lightly toast the four spices. Set aside. Place eggplant, red pepper, red onion and courgettes into separate bowls. Drizzle the vegetables with the oil and toss well.

Barbecue the eggplant for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until browned and tender. Transfer to a tray and cover. Repeat this process with other vegetables; allowing 4 to 6 minutes for red pepper and onion, or until softened. Cook courgettes for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Brush halloumi with the leftover oil from the vegetable bowls, then barbecue on each side until browned. Remove to a tray and cover.

Add lemon juice, the toasted spices and the salt and pepper to the vegetables and toss gently. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and scatter the halloumi on top.

Sprinkle over the mint leaves and serve with Cashew & Tomato Cream.

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Serves 6

Cashew & Tomato Cream

Soak 75g (½ cup) cashews overnight in cold water. The next day, drain them and dry on paper towels. Transfer the cashews to a food processor and add 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt.

Process until nuts are coarsely chopped. Keep the processor running and slowly drizzle in ½ cup olive oil (preferably extra virgin) until well combined. Scrape into a bowl and add 2 medium tomatoes that have been skinned, seeded and diced. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 400ml

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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