Recipes by Matthew Lau
Summery salads are the perfect go-to dish as the weather warms up. This Greek-inspired halloumi couscous salad and French salmon nicoise are packed with hearty vegetables, and can be served as either a stand-alone meal or a side dish to tantalise your taste buds. Both recipes serves four people.
Halloumi couscous salad
- 250g couscous
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 75g pitted black olives
- one red capsicum, allumette jardiniere
- one courgette, sliced on the slant
- one small aubergine, sliced on the slant
- 250g pack halloumi cheese, thickly sliced and then halved lengthways
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- two lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- one large handful of mint, chopped
- one tub Greek plain yoghurt
- In a bowl, pour the boiling stock over the couscous and mix well with a fork before covering with a plate to let stand for 5 minutes. Combine the olive oil, lemons and vinegar in a separate bowl to create the dressing. Fluff up the couscous with a fork, stir in the chickpeas and tomatoes, and then follow with half the dressing. Mix well and pile onto a large serving dish.
- Heat 4 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and fry the capsicum, courgette and aubergine over a high heat for 4 minutes or until cooked. Carefully top the couscous with the vegetables.
- Reheat the pan (add a little more oil if necessary), then sear the halloumi strips on each side until golden brown. Pile them on top of your salad with a good sprinkle of mint and the remaining dressing. Serve each portion with a generous dollop of yoghurt.
Classic nicoise salad
- 450g salmon fillet
- 400g baby new potatoes, halved
- 150g green beans
- four large free-range eggs
- 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- 50g pitted black olives
- 25g capers
- 400g corn kernels, drained and rinsed
- one head of green oak lettuce
- one small shallot, finely diced
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- one lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Simmer the new potatoes in a pot for 8 minutes, then add the beans and boil for a further 2 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes, remove from the stove and run them under a cold tap until cool. Peel and halve the eggs with care.
- Season the salmon with sea salt and black pepper. In a lightly oiled hot pan, sear the salmon skin-side down for 4 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 2 minutes before setting aside, allowing it to cool enough to flake.
- Combine the shallot, olive oil, lemons, and mustard in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper for the dressing. Add the lettuce leaves, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, olives, capers, and corn to the bowl – then toss to coat.
Plate up the portions between four bowls, topping each with the eggs halves, flaked salmon, and garnish of your choosing.
From pages 27 of Issue 21: ‘The most Effective Communications is transformative’ of The Record Magazine