Use fresh, supple dates and serve the salads immediately they are topped with fried haloumi. This makes an exquisite starter, or an accompaniment to a roasted chicken.
¼ cup pine nuts
Salt and flaky sea salt
3 perfectly ripe fragrant pears
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups trimmed rocket leaves
1 cos (romaine) lettuce, trimmed, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup small mint leaves
¼ cup fresh dates, pits removed and cut into slivers
3 Tbsp lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil
250g (about 8oz) haloumi, cut into 5mm slices
Small wedge of parmesan cheese
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
1 Heat a smidgen of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and add pine nuts. Toast briefly until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
2 Peel pears, cut in half and remove cores. Slice finely, then toss gently with a little lemon juice. Put rocket leaves in a bowl with cos, mint and dates. Whisk together lemon-infused olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt and pour over salad greens. Arrange greens on plates.
3 Pat haloumi dry with paper towels. Heat a medium-sized frying pan (skillet) over medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of butter. When sizzling, add haloumi. Cook until golden. Arrange on top of salads. Top with pear slices. Shave over a little parmesan and scatter with pine nuts. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.