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Halloumi and pomegranate salad

Halloumi is a great Mediterranean cheese easily found now in most supermarkets and in Greek or Turkish shops. It doesn't melt well and so is ideal for frying. It's a perfect thing to serve to vegetarian friends. Very salty, it is lovely in this salad, offset with fruity tomatoes and pomegranate seeds. I add onion for texture and parsley gives it a lift. The dressing is simple and fruity, just pomegranate molasses and olive oil with a tiny bit of red wine vinegar.

Some pomegranate molasses can be quite sour and, if yours is, you may not need the vinegar, so taste it before using. It's a killer ingredient. As a dressing or marinade it's a best friend to lamb and chicken as well. I had to refrain from using it in too many recipes in this book.

Serves 2

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
half a red onion, thinly sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
250g block halloumi, cut into
5mm slices
1 tsp light olive oil
seeds of half a pomegranate
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Make the dressing by combining the pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, and stirring thoroughly. Season to taste. Arrange the red onion slices and tomatoes on two plates.
Lightly fry the halloumi - ideally in a griddle pan to get those lovely dark stripes - in the light olive oil on both sides, for a minute or so each, until brown. Place on top of the onion and tomatoes. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter with the pomegranate seeds and parsley. Eat at once.

Recipe taken from Comfort and Spice by Niamh Shields (£14.99 Quadrille) - Fly at a Smile-Price