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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Romaine Hearts with Grilled Halloumi Cheese (Sherry Maple Dressing)

Hearts of romain sliced in half with tomatoes, toasted walnuts, smoked speck/prosciutto chips and grilled halloumi! - maple sherry vinaigrette -

The presentation for this was inspired by a caesar salad I ordered at La Grange in Morin Heights - one hour North of Montreal.  This was a great new discovery for us and we will be going back often.  It is one of those wonderful places that has good food, great ambiance and nice staff.  They also informed us that, with summer just around the corner, they will be opening a large terrace with an outdoor pizza oven and live music on Friday nights.  We love the Laurentians and this is a definite must!  It is open for lunch and dinner.

This salad will also be great for the summer.  It's super easy to make and the grilled halloumi cheese adds an interesting flavour and texture.  This is a brined cheese from Greece (Cyprus) but you can use Do-Ré-Mi cheese or any another cheese that won't melt on the Bar-B-Que - just ask your cheese shop for suggestions.

The cheese and smoked speck/prosciutto chips are quite salty and need to be balanced out with a sweeter dressing.  You can come up with your own combination by following this general ratio:  

  • 2 tbsps (30ml) acid ingredient (vinegar, lemon, lime juice, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) of sweet ingredient (sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.)
  • 1 tsp of mustard (will serve to bind the dressing)
  • 5-6 tbsps (75ml-90ml) of oil (grape seed, olive, vegetable, etc) - you can also add more flavour by combining a nut oil with a vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Any fresh or dried herbs you like

This dish is really just about combining a few ingredients together rather than a recipe and you can use your imagination to create your own with what you have on hand.  

The smoked speck/prosciutto chips were just placed on a parchment line baking sheet in the middle of a 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes to dry out.  I also added the walnuts to the baking sheet to toast them at the same time.

Here is the recipe for the dressing I made for this salad: Makes about 1/2 cup

  • 2 tbsps (30ml) of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5ml) of grain mustard
  • 5 tbsp (75ml) of grape seed oil
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Place all ingredients together in a mason jar and shake well to combine;
  2. Drizzle on salad just before serving.



  1. Anonymous2/9/13

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