This herby barley couscous with chipotle halloumi and grilled apricots it’s just a dream dish, it’s an absolute beauty and the exact type of food that I would eat again and again. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, any day, any season. Peaches and apricots are one of my top favourite fruits to throw on a grill as an addition in almost any savoury salad. I do like strawberries, mango or pineapple too.
All that flavours and aromas they bring to any dish is exceptionally good. Despite these stone fruits no longer being in season apricots are still easy to find, at least for a while. I have replaced them many times in the past, especially around Christmas time with grilled oranges, grapefruit or even pineapple.
A barley couscous salad with chipotle halloumi and any grilled fruits would make a beautiful Christmas dish too, don’t you agree? Absolutely Fabulous!
Be very generous with the herbs as they are the power and the flavour engine for this dish. Choose your favourite herbs and make it your own.
Turning to eating healthier doesn’t mean that food has to be bland or tasteless, on the contrary, but the food is less processed offering more nourishment, it’s a lot more vibrant and it also means that it gets prepared much, much quicker.
I’m not saying traditional food isn’t good, it is, but it tends to get cooked for much longer and loses the colour as well as nutrients and quality.
And, if you like halloumi cheese and would like more recipes with this magnificent cheese, here are some other recipes that may be of interest to you, like this beautiful orzo and halloumi cheese, or this tantalising and very exotic salad that’s sweet and savoury or something that is more unusual like these halloumi burgers . How do those sound to you? I do hope you will enjoy, here were just three examples but do tap in the search bar halloumi and you will find quite a few other options there, I did not realise what a halloumi cheese lover I am.
I am not quite sure if you do feel this way but I do, I do , I do love deli sections of the stores or any deli type of eating place, I am lucky enough to have one near work and sneak a lunch from there every now and again. So this deli type of salads are my thing any time.
You could do many things to this salad to make it your own but one thing I suggest since I have tried it myself and absolutely loved it, it is to add some boiled chickpeas spiced up and cooked for a few minutes over a medium heat into a pan with a drizzle of coconut oil, some chilli flakes or cayenne pepper and some sea salt drizzled generously with lemon juice. Mix into this and enjoy! Delicious.
Herby barley couscous with chipotle halloumi and grilled apricots
Herby barley couscous with chipotle halloumi and grilled apricots is one of those favorite couscous salad recipes. Airy, tasty, light and so perfect as leftovers or work lunch box the next day. Healthy and super easy to make!
- 220 g halloumi cheese sliced
- 210 ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 190 g barley couscous
- 180 g tenderstem broccoli
- 6 apricots halved and grilled
- 5 leaves fresh mint bruised and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chipotle paste
- 1 small bunch mixed fresh herbs*
- 60 g pecan nuts toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 handful pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 5 mint leaves brushed and super finely chopped
Put the dry couscous into a slightly larger bowl and pour over the boiling stock. Cover with a plate or clingfilm and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
Slice and brush the halloumi cheese with a coat of chipotle paste and set aside for a few minutes.
While the couscous it’s getting infused, and the halloumi a little confused
, grill the apricots and the broccoli on a griddle pan for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side then remove and put on a plate aside.
Grill the halloumi cheese too for 2 minutes on each side and set aside once finished.
Toast the pecan nuts in a pan for literally 2 min tossing almost constantly and make sure you’re not abandoning that pan till you take them off that pan. Warning
: They burn fast! After toasting, take them out from that pan and place them on a chopping board ready for a rough chopping once they are cool enough to handle which should be 1 min or so.
In a jar, place all dressing ingredients and give those a good old shake. Shake it, shake it, and shake a little bit more until you think enough is enough.
Get the couscous fluffed up with a fork, season and add half of the dressing, the washed and finely chopped herbs including the mint leaving a pinch of two aside for sprinkling at the end, add the chopped nuts and most of the pomegranate seeds. Give it all a nice mix.
Serve the barley couscous mixture onto the serving plates and top with the grilled apricots, halloumi and the broccoli.
Drizzle the remaining dressing sprinkle some more pomegranate seeds and few more chopped herbs and serve.
* as herbs here in this recipe I have used dill, parsley and mint but you may use any ones you like. Thyme goes super well here with apricots too.
* I have replaced a few times the halloumi cheese with lamb chops or pork medallions, it’s divine.
* yet again addition that’s perfect for sharing, for parties, it always looks vibrant and super impressive.
* A drizzle of a good quality balsamic vinegar into which you can add some fresh herbs will go well here too, well at least that’s what I like since I am a balsamic vinegar addict. Enjoy!