I don’t normally do salad in winter. Salads are for summer and I like to freestyle depending on mood, energy and hunger levels. Sometimes it’s a mix of leaves with some nasturtium flowers, a classic vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon and grainy mustard. Simple. Good with a lump of bread and a slather of good butter. Sometimes it can become elaborate and involve multiple ingredients and an evening of getting them ready.
Winter is too cold for leaves and anything raw, but I’ve been eating side salad for a couple of weeks now. Not every day, but a couple of times a week. Just a mix of leaves with olive oil, some Barolo wine vinegar I bought when I was in Rome a few months ago and seasoning. I usually have it as a side to pasta. I look forward to it all day, anticipating the pungency of rocket and the tang of vinegar. Maybe it’s because January is a tough month and I need to be reminded of the sun and holidays.
This recipe is a nice mix of salty and creamy haloumi and a beautiful sunny sweetness from ripe persimmons. Use any leaves you fancy. Rocket is nice for pungency, lambs lettuce is lovely and creamy.
Take a few slices of haloumi and char on a griddle. Cut the persimmons into half moon slices.
Make a dressing – 3 tbsp good olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to season.
Pour the dressing over the leaves and toss.
Then add the haloumi and persimmon and top with a few walnuts.