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Strawberry Salad with Speck and Haloumi

Jamie’s garden is bursting with strawberries from hanging baskets, a great way to grow them, and he picks them in situ to make a strawberry salad with speck and halloumi.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • A few sprigs fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 9 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 8 thin slices
  • A few sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked
  • A handful mixed salad leaves, washed and spun dry
  • 8 slices speck

Directions

  1. Most people think of strawberries as something they’d only eat for dessert, but they work so well in salads. Especially when paired with halloumi cheese, which I just love. It’s a Cypriot cheese made from goat’s or sheep’s milk and you can get it from all good supermarkets. It’s like a chewy feta but one you can cook with. When fried or broiled it goes all crispy on the outside and soft and slightly chewy on the inside.
  2. In a bowl drizzle the sliced strawberries with a good splash of balsamic vinegar, the lemon juice and some extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. This will draw out and flavor the lovely strawberry juices.
  3. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan to medium hot and add a splash of olive oil. Press a basil leaf onto each slice of halloumi. Place the slices, leaf side down, in the frying pan and fry for a minute. Turn over carefully and fry for another minute until the halloumi is light golden and crisp.
  4. Get yourself 4 plates and place a couple of pieces of the crispy halloumi on each. Put the mint, the rest of the basil leaves and the salad leaves into the bowl with the strawberries and toss together. Pile some of the strawberry mixture in the middle of each plate and drape the speck over the top. Finish with more salad leaves. To serve, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.