The opportunity to experiment with international ingredients is something I love about cooking. Recipes can encapsulate memories of countries I’ve already travelled and flavors of the places I’m dreaming to visit. Because savoring the food, history and art of another culture is endlessly fascinating, exploring the local food markets is at the top of my fun list wherever I go! Markets are the museums of food – which I can peruse for hours upon hours just as I would the finest museums of art!
Even when I’m not travelling, I still manage to treat myself to a special weekly ‘trip around the globe’ via my local organic market. Having been blessed with a lively imagination since birth, each and every international product I peruse sweeps me off to a fabulous market from its exotic country of origin. Stepping through the checkout line, I might appear somewhat distant… as I’m likely returning from a quick escape to Thailand or India… maybe Spain.
Back home, my new treasures carefully chauffeured and tucked away onto their new shelves, I sigh. I need a vacation from my vacation! Cyprus would be perfect – And Mediterranean Strawberry Salad will be just the ticket! The scent of sweet strawberries and grilling halloumi cheese transform my kitchen immediately; bright island sun pours through my windows, the deep blue sea suddenly steps away. Over lunch our conversation turns to travel memories, great food and dreams.
It’s a vibrant little meal, bursting with Mediterranean flavor and gorgeous color. Pan seared halloumi, with it’s crispy exterior and melty middle pair beautifully with salty prosciutto atop a bed of perfectly dressed greens and summer strawberries. Perhaps Mediterranean Strawberry Salad will whisk you off to lands far away too… At the very least, you’ll have an exceptional lunch wherever you happen to be!
Mediterranean Strawberry Salad (Serves 4)
- 1 ½ cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
GRILLED HALLOUMI & SALAD
- mixed baby salad greens
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + extra for finishing
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + extra for finishing
- 10 oz. package halloumi cheese, sliced into 8 rectangles
- prosciutto, 8 thin slices
1. Place the sliced strawberries in a medium bowl and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 tablepoons EVOO. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, toss gently and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the sliced halloumi and fry until golden brown and crispy on each side- a minute or two per side. Because this cheese has such a high melting point, the cheese will not melt out into the pan, but will become softened inside!
3. Add the baby greens, basil and mint to the bowl of strawberries and gently toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange the greens on your serving plates, adding the grilled halloumi and topping with two slices of prosciutto per person. Finish with a few extra droplets of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
What are some of your favorite food travel memories?
Juliane is an Artist, avid Cook & Founder of StyleNectar.com. She loves cooking & painting… then sharing her favorites with you! Her culinary focus is beautiful, nurturing dishes using organic ingredients. While her paintings capture favorite moments in time. Through her passion for Food & Art she expresses the importance of savoring each moment & loving life to the fullest!