So, as many of you may know from our social media we are in love with Izy Hossack’s food blog Top With Cinnamon. Actually I’d go as far as saying that she was the one blogger that inspired us to make our dream reality. While Becky was off gallivanting around Melbourne she came across Izy Hossack’s new cookbook Top With Cinnamon. I knew what we would be cooking next from the minute she texted me saying, “Guess whose book I bought!? Top With Cinnamon’s!!!”
On the night of Becky’s return we were to be found excitedly flicking through the pages of… you guessed it, Izy’s cookbook! Sprawled across her bedroom floor, surrounded by paper and pens. We struggled to choose which delicious thing to cook. I’m not sure what takes longer when I’m cooking, the cooking itself or choosing what to cook! In the end we settled on Izy’s Quinoa, Haloumi and Pomegranate Salad. I mean, what a perfect way to celebrate Darwin’s endless summer. A light, slightly salty and zingy salad, bursting with colour.
I sacrificed my love of sleep-ins for an early morning start. After stumbling around the house bleary eyed, we jumped on our bikes and headed off. The ride to the shops was extremely pleasant and the rush of cool air left me feeling wide-awake. Shopping was… well, an adventure. Being very much use-the-ingredients-already-in-the-fridge or write-it-on-the-shopping-list-for-mum-or-dad-to-buy kind of cooks we had lots of fun attempting to locate ingredients. We did very well until it came to the quinoa and pomegranate molasses. Luckily, a very nice shop assistant helped us to locate the quinoa. I learnt that it is not found with the lentils. They did not in fact stock pomegranate molasses, whatever it is. Luckily, Izy’s recipe came with a back up plan and we resorted to the good old balsamic vinegar. Finally we made our way out of the supermarket and back onto our bikes. We then set off home to get stuck into some cooking and photography action.
We had a fantastic morning in the kitchen, whipping up a storm and thoroughly documenting it. As soon as we had sat down, the salad was demolished in a heartbeat. I loved how the salad was packed from head to toe with flavour. How the sweet burst of pomegranate perfectly contrasted the balsamic vinegar and haloumi. Most of all I loved the salad’s freshness and beautiful combination of colours. However, the salad is quite extravagant and slightly expensive to make. I think it would be fantastic for a special lunch, dinner or outdoor poolside barbeque. It’s the perfect accompaniment for sunny summer weather!
- The original recipe also included 50g (1/4 cup) raisins but we left them out because we thought they would make it too sweet.
- We also didn’t use pomegranate molasses because we couldn’t find any, but after tasting, we thought the zing of the balsamic vinegar added a lovely new layer that wouldn’t be present with the molasses.
QUINOA, HALOUMI AND POMEGRANATE SALAD
ADAPTED FROM TOP WITH CINNAMON COOKBOOK BY IZY HOSSACK
SERVES: 4-5 PEOPLE (AS A MEAL)
8-10 PEOPLE (AS A SIDE SALAD)
TIME: 30 MINS
170g (1 cup) quinoa, rinsed thoroughly (using a sieve)
¾ tsp salt
250g haloumi (we used Cyprus style)
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
50g (1/4 cup) pine nuts, lightly roasted
A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
A large pinch of salt
Put the quinoa in a medium lidded pot with 500ml (2 cups) boiling water and the salt. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork and set aside to cool.
While the quinoa cooks, slice the haloumi into roughly 5 mm thick slices and place on foil lined tray. Cook under the grill for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Flip over the haloumi and scatter the sliced red onion onto the tray. Grill again until the other side is golden. Remove from the grill and let it cool before breaking it into smaller pieces.
Shake the dressing ingredients together in a lidded jar until emulsified. Stir half of dressing into the quinoa along with the pine nuts and coriander. Transfer to a platter. Scatter the haloumi and pomegranate seeds over, then drizzle the rest of the dressing over and serve.