One of my culinary passions in life is to rustle up an interesting salad, packed with a variety of fresh ingredients, bursting with flavour and texture whilst looking like a masterpiece. After all, you eat with your eyes too! This little number is no exception … give it a whirl and feel free to modify any ingredients if you wish.
1 bag ready washed baby spinach leaves
2 ripe avocados, skinned and sliced
8 rashers of cooked streaky bacon, snipped into strips
1 175g pack char-grilled artichokes (optional)
1 pack Halloumi cheese, cut into 12 slices
2 red peppers
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Handful of fresh basil
Large lug of olive oil
Wagamama spicy chilli, coriander and ginger dressing, or any dressing of your choice
Salt and black pepper
WHAT TO DO:
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
Halve and deseeded the red peppers, lengthwise, cutting straight down through the stalk, so each half still has the stalk attached. Place the peppers in a roasting tray, and fill the halves with tomatoes, garlic, some shredded basil leaves, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the peppers have softened and and slightly browned around the edges.
Meanwhile, take four large salad bowls or large dinner plates. Arrange two large handfuls of baby spinach leaves in the bowl. Top with sliced avocado, snipped crispy bacon strips, and some sliced artichoke hearts.
Preheat a griddle, or frying pan, and then grill the Halloumi until it is slightly browned on both sides.
When the peppers are cooked, drizzle the leaves with the dressing of your choice, top with 3 slices of grilled Halloumi, and a red pepper half. Garnish with a large sprig of fresh basil and serve.
It is delicious served with warm crusty ciabatta bread, or with a few cooked new potatoes tossed in the salad.
TIP: The Halloumi can be substituted with buffalo mozzarella if preferred
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