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Friday, April 11, 2014

Delicious Bowls: Sweet Pea, Halloumi, Smoked Pancetta and Almond Salad (Fig and Black Olive Tapenade)

These two ingredients make a wonderfully balanced tapenade

This is an easy weekday meal that I make often - leftovers are great for lunch!  With the summer just around the corner, it is great to bring to a pot luck or for a barbecue.  I added grilled portobello mushrooms to make this a heartier meal but they are completely optional.  The salad is great on its own and completely low carb.

The olive and fig tapenade was inspired by one I had at Carol à gogo  in St-Sauveur.  This is a wonderful place for drinks and really good food - it also has a very vibrant 5 à 7 thing going on and every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday nights (at around 9p.m.) there is live music.  The octopus salad is the best we have ever had!  It's just a really fun place to be and the staff are so nice.  

You will need:  for 2 meal size portions of the salad

  • 1.5 cups (340g) of frozen sweet peas
  • 2 thick slices of halloumi cheese
  • 5-6 slices of smoked pancetta
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • a small handful of smoked almonds, roughly chopped (I get mine at Noix du Marché - Atwater Market)
  • 1 tsp of grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/8-1/4 (40ml - 60ml) cup of olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped (plus additional for garnish)
  • salt and pepper
  • espelette or cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Cook the sliced onion (1 small) in 1 tbsp of olive oil, with a pinch of salt, over medium heat until it begins to caramelize, set aside;
  2. In the same pan, cook the sliced smoked pancetta (6 slices) until it begins to crisp.  Chop 4 slices and keep two for garnish, set aside;
  3. Finally, place the slices of halloumi in the same pan and cook until they colour on both sides.  Chop into cubes and set aside;
  4. Boil the peas (1.5 cups - 340g)) in a large pot of generously salted water for about 1 minute (wait for the water to return to boil after adding the peas).  Strain and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process and to help maintain the bright green colour;
  5. Combine the peas, caramelized onion, halloumi cheese,  pancettta and chopped smoked almonds in a bowl;
  6. Combine the grain mustard (1tsp) and seasoned rice wine vinegar (1 tbsp) in a small bowl and slowly whisk in olive oil (1/8 to 1/4 cup - 40ml-60ml);
  7. Gently mix in the dressing, add fresh chopped basil, taste and season;
  8. Sprinkle the plated salad with espelette or cayenne pepper (optional).

Note:  if you would like to add grilled portobello, just drizzle the sliced mushrooms with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season and grill to your liking - place the salad over the mushroom slices.

For the Fig and Olive Tapendade (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup of sun dried black olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 3 fresh black figs, finely chopped

  1. Combine both ingredients in a bowl, taste and season if required.

 Thought and Smile of the day: