Sometimes after a busy eating schedule or hot day on the boat, we only want to eat something light. I love salads, especially the “kitchen sink” type where a quick survey of the fridge’s content meets with my imagination. On a quick passage from Tonga to Fiji recently, the crew felt like something light and fresh for lunch. I came up with this salad, which I called “salade fraicheur”, French for “freshness salad”. I found that the combination of cheese and vegetables was enough for myself, but feel free to add grilled chicken or beef and serve with bread rolls if like me, you have bigger eaters around. Simple, fast and yummy!
1 small head of lettuce, washed and trimmed
1 bunch green beans, washed and trimmed
3 tomatoes, washed and cut in wedges
¼ cup black olives, roughly chopped
1 french shallots (red) thinly sliced
1 block (200g) haloumi cheese, cut into 4 portions
½ cup pine nuts
French salad dressing (1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp mustard, salt and pepper, all whisked in a small bowl)
1. Steam or boil the green beans, until just tender. Drain and plunge in ice cold water (to stop the cooking so they retain their nice green colour). Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine lettuce leaves, cooked green beans, tomato wedges, olives and shallots. Add salad dressing and toss.
3. Heat a non stick frypan on very high (do not add oil), place haloumi cheese slices and grill/pan fry about 2 minutes on each sides (you want it crisp and brown on the outside, just warm and soft on the inside, not melted!)
4. Divide the salad evenly in 4 bowls or plates, place the grilled cheese on top, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Add grilled chicken or beef, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.