A summer salad inspired by the eastern Med
Saganaki translates as ‘pan-fried’ and there are many of varieties of Greek, Turkish and Cypriot cheeses that work perfectly for this recipe, halloumi just happens to be the most readily available—as well as being tangy and delicious. Like other brined cheeses, halloumi has a great shelf life.
Sweet dried fruit and honey are the classic accompaniments, but fresh stone fruit makes for a sensational combination too.
100g dried figs, tough stalks removed and halved if large
250g halloumi cheese block
3 tbsp fine semolina
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 tbsp Greek honey
4 ripe apricots, quartered
1 tsp dried oregano
A squeeze of lemon, depending on how sweet versus tart, your apricots are
Place the honey, 5 tbsp water and dried figs together in a saucepan and bring up to the boil. Switch off the heat and leave them to soak.
Cut the halloumi into thick slices. Mix together the semolina and sesame seeds in a small dish. Now dip the cheese in the beaten egg, before rolling in the semolina mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the cheese on a medium heat for a 2 mins each side, until golden-brown.
Serve the cheese with the figs and honey, quartered apricots and a sprinkling of oregano and black pepper. The lemon juice is up to you—perhaps place wedges alongside so that you can sharpen things up as you go.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler