Summer is officially here, well as much as it will ever arrive and stay in London, and this kind of weather makes me crave salads! Not some limp lettuce with a bland dressing and a few sad chopped up tomatoes but something that still packs a punch flavour wise and which is filling enough for a satisfying main.
This salad, combining slow roast garlic cloves and baby new potatoes, tossed in plenty of oregano and olive oil, with juicy honeydew and watermelon chunks, fresh mint and basil as well as slowly melted feta and halloumi is all kinds of amazing- not only looking like summer on a plate with its gorgeous colours but striking the perfect balance between sweet and savoury, fresh yet comforting. It is also super easy to prepare, I made it for a friend on a Friday night after some quick chopping, and was so impressively tasty that it has for sure been added to my recipe repertoire.
If you can, go to your local greengrocer for this one, personally I think fresh fruit and particularly melons tend to taste rather bland from supermarkets and here you really need every ingredient to be as punchy as possible.
I found the original recipe by Anna Jones (who also has drool worthy Instagram profile) on the Guardian website, one of my favourite sources for recipe inspiration. I am also a big fan of Racheal Roddy’s Italian cooking column, but tweaked it with the addition of halloumi because heck I fancied some and two kinds of cheese are definitely better than one! I cannot stress enough how easy and delicious this was and I for one hope there will be plenty more hot summer evenings to rustle this up for, enjoyed with an ice cold glass of rosé
700g small new potatoes
1 unwaxed lemon
1 head garlic
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp oregano
Salt and black pepper
1kg melon (I used watermelon and honeydew)
200g block feta cheese
1 block of halloumi, quartered
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of mint, leaves picked
Good drizzle of honey
· Heat the oven to 200C .
· Chop any large potatoes in half and keep the smaller ones whole, then transfer to a large baking tray.
· Use a speed peeler to peel the zest from the lemon in long strips, then add to the tray.
· Bash the head of garlic until the cloves are slightly split, then add to the tray with the olive oil and oregano.
· Season well, then roast for 20 minutes.
· Peel and slice the melons into thin half-moons, removing the seeds as you go.
· After the potatoes have had 20 minutes, take them out of the oven, then squash them down with a potato masher or fork until broken apart and flattened.
· Break over the feta and chopped up halloumi, then return the tray to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, or until golden and crisp all over.
· Remove from the oven, toss with the juice of half the lemon, then add the melon, basil and mint.
· Finish with a drizzle of honey and enjoy!