Maftoul and Lentil Salad with Spinach and Grilled Halloumi

Maftoul and Lentil Salad with Spinach and Grilled Halloumi

Ohhh how yummy this is!! This is the kind of salad that can be eaten as a main or side, or just all the time, like at breakfast.

Maftoul is just pure genius in cracked wheat form. If you’re like me and are obsessed with couscous and bulghur, then you’ll love this. Claimed to originate from Lebanon, Israel, Palestine – frankly I don’t really care where it’s from as long as it’s readily available and in my store cupboard at all times.

Oh and here’s an idea, why not make my roasted red pepper houmous and flatbreads? They’re totally best buds with this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 100g Spinach, finely chopped – reserve a handful for garnish
  • Generous bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 150g maftoul (or giant couscous)
  • 300ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can of precooked lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, 10 haved – reserve 6 whole for garnish
  • 1 pack of halloumi cheese, cut into chunks

For the dressing:

  • Olive oil
  • The juice of ½ a lemon
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

First start by preparing the maftoul. Bring the stock to the boil and add the maftoul, cook for around 6 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the onion, tomato halves, garlic, chopped spinach, parsley and lentils. Add the cooled maftoul and mix well.

Place the halloumi chunks in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for a couple of minutes. This helps extract some of the salt from the halloumi and makes it really soft and chewy. Remove the halloumi from the bowl, pat dry with kitchen paper then transfer to a frying pan or griddle with a little olive oil. Grill until lightly browned then add to the rest of the ingredients.

To make the dressing combine about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of vinegar, lemon juice, 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin and a level teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix well and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, give the salad a good toss then serve on a bed of the reserved spinach leaves.

Grab a spoon.

Makes one huge salad.

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