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Carrot and spiced halloumi salad with carrot top pesto

Serves: 6 as a side

Cooking time: Prep 10mins Cook 5mins

Difficulty: Easy

Difficulty

For the pesto:

  • 1 large handful of carrot tops from 8 carrots, tough stems removed
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • 1 large handful parsley leaves
  • 1 small handful toasted almonds
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Large pinch of sea salt and black pepper
For the spiced halloumi:
  • 1 block or 250g halloumi, sliced into 8 and cubed
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1tsp aleppo chilli
  • 1.5tbsp maple syrup
  • Sea salt
For the garnish:
  • 1 small handful pistachios
  • 1 small handful pumpkin seeds
  • 1 large handful pomegranate seeds
  • Lemon or orange juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil or Argan oil, for drizzling
  • Sprinkle aleppo pepper
 

This speedy recipe by Melissa Hemsley is full of flavour and colour and celebrates the whole carrot. Carrots are a great all-rounder British veg and you might have noticed them appearing more often in shops with their vibrant green tops intact. These tops, whizzed up raw make a lovely pesto or fried and served as a side of greens. This refreshing salad with a garlicky punchy carrot top pesto goes beautifully with some salty, sweet and spiced hot fried halloumi on top.

Melissa Hemsley’s food waste tip:

As well as carrots, keep broccoli in the fridge and make sure you’re enjoying the stalks as well as the florets. Give the stalks a little trim if they have any knobbly bits on and then thinly slice up the stalk and add to the frying pan or steam them along with the florets. A great mid-week meal is broccoli florets and stalks fried in coconut oil, ginger, garlic and chilli and tossed through buckwheat (soba noodles) with a yolky egg or some leftover shredded chicken or flaked smoked mackerel on top.

Method:

1. First make the pesto. Clean the carrot tops and put all the pesto ingredients in a food processor except for the extra virgin olive oil. Pulse and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until you have a pesto, keeping a bit of texture and season to taste.

2. To prepare the carrots, use a speed peeler to slice the carrots into thick long strips or ribbons.

3. Next, toast the nuts and seeds for just under a minute then set aside. In the same frying pan, toast the spices for a minute until fragrant, stirring to stop them burning.

4. Add ghee to the pan and allow to melt on a high heat. Add the halloumi and let fry until golden on each side, adding the maple syrup for the last 30 seconds.

5. To serve, top each portion with some hot fried halloumi and toss over the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle over the pesto and give everything a good squeeze of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Ingredients

For the pesto:

  • 1 large handful of carrot tops from 8 carrots, tough stems removed
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • 1 large handful parsley leaves
  • 1 small handful toasted almonds
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Large pinch of sea salt and black pepper
For the spiced halloumi:
  • 1 block or 250g halloumi, sliced into 8 and cubed
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1tsp aleppo chilli
  • 1.5tbsp maple syrup
  • Sea salt
For the garnish:
  • 1 small handful pistachios
  • 1 small handful pumpkin seeds
  • 1 large handful pomegranate seeds
  • Lemon or orange juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil or Argan oil, for drizzling
  • Sprinkle aleppo pepper
 

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