Halloumi, honey and fig salad

Sophie Michell spreads home-made flatbread with zaatar, a Middle Eastern sesame and spice mix, and serves it with a Lebanese-style salad
By Sophie Michell
Halloumi, honey and fig salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hrs 30 mins rising time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 360 g wholemeal flour
  • 150 g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp active dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp cornflour

For the zaatar

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 100 ml olive oil

For the salad

  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 12 small figs, trimmed
  • 400 g halloumi cheese
  • 2 large handfuls wild rocket
  • small handful of parsley
  • small bunch chives
  • ½ lemons, juice only
  • pinches sumac
  • splashes olive oil

Method

1. For the bread: sift the wholemeal and strong white flour in a bowl and add the salt. Dissolve the yeast with 250ml of lukewarm water in a small jug.

2. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and knead the mixture with your hands to make a soft dough - you may need to add another 1-2 tablespoons of water. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

3. Place the dough in a large bowl, dusted with extra flour. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1½-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

4. For the zaatar: grind all the ingredients together using a pestle and mortar. Add sea salt to taste.

5. For the salad: put the sugar, honey and 200ml water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until syrupy.

6. Add the trimmed figs to the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the figs and simmer the syrup until thickened. Return the figs back to the pan and keep warm.

7. For the bread: knock the air out of the dough and then, on a floured surface, make the bread into a long sausage shape. Pinch off the dough to make 8-10 equal-sized balls.

8. Roll each ball in the cornflour. Dust a tray with flour and put the balls on top. Cover and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.

9. On a clean surface, punch down each ball with your hands in a circular motion. Pick up each patted piece of dough and shift it from one hand to the other in a quick motion to stretch it. With a rolling pin, roll out as thin as possible.

10. Heat a frying pan and cook each disc of dough for about 5 minutes over a medium heat until browned. Flip the bread over and spread a teaspoon of the zaatar on top. Once the bread is cooked through, remove and pile up on a plate covered with a damp cloth until you are ready to serve.

11. To finish the salad: slice the halloumi into 1cm thick slices, and put frying pan on the heat. Fry the halloumi for a few minutes on each side until golden-brown and softened.

12. Mix the rocket and herbs in a salad bowl, dress with a little lemon juice, a pinch of sumac and a splash of olive oil.

13. Serve the salad topped with the halloumi, figs and with the flatbread on the side.

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