This is an ideal recipe for a sunny bank holiday weekend. I know plenty of people have been having barbecues this weekend and this would be the perfect dish to share. The colours are so inviting and the flavours are fresh and delicious.
The idea for this dish came from my friend, Linda. She recently posted a picture on instagram of a fig and halloumi salad which she had made and it looked amazing. Figs and halloumi are two of my favourite things. I wanted to make this a proper meal so decided to add beef koftas to the salad and have served it with some wholemeal pitas. You could easily just have the salad on its own though for a light lunch or if you are having a barbecue and plan to have beef kebabs or grilled chicken or any meat in fact.
There are a few different elements to the dish but each part cooks quickly and once they are all ready, the dish is easily assembled. I like to serve this on a big platter along with the pita breads on the side. This way everyone can just help themselves.
BEEF KOFTAS WITH GRILLED HALLOUMI AND FIG SALAD AND WHOLEMEAL PITAS
Ingredients (serves 4):
For the koftas:
800g minced beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
Salt and pepper
For the salad:
8 ripe figs
250g halloumi, sliced
2 large handfuls rocket
4 tablespoon flaked almonds
3 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
100g natural yogurt
3 tablespoons balsamic glaze
4 large wholemeal pitas
- Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius. Remove the top of the stalks from 4 figs and cut into quarters. With the remaining 4 figs, slit a cross in the top of the fig at the stalk with a knife. Cut about 1/3 of the way down. Then using your finger and thumb on both hands, pinch the bottom of the fig and gently squeeze so that the flesh pops through the cross. You don’t have to do this. I just think it looks nice to see the bright pink of the fig jumping through. Place the figs on a non-stick baking tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. The flesh should be soft and the edges starting to caramelise.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the koftas in a bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Shape the mince into koftas so small fat cylinders. Heat a pan or grill pan with 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium – high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the koftas. Cook until browned on all sides and the meat is cooked through the middle. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Place the slices of halloumi in a separate dry pan over a medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until the halloumi turns golden. The cheese and the pan will probably make some squeaking noises. Don’t worry about this or be tempted to add any oil. Place in the oven to keep warm.
- Toast the almond flakes in a pan until golden. This should only take about 2 – 3 minutes. While you are doing this, place the pita breads in the over to warm.
- Mix the yogurt and 3/4 of the mint leaves in a bowl.
- Lay the rocket on a large serving plate. Top with the beef koftas, fig and halloumi pieces. Try to spread them all out evenly so everyone can get a bit of everything from wherever they take from the plate.
- Sprinkle over the remaining mint leaves and toasted almonds.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and some of the minty yogurt.
- Serve with the pita breads and the remaining yogurt topped with a little mint and some of the toasted almond flake crumbs for decoration.