At the Fillmore Street location of Troya Mediterranean Kitchen in San Francisco, featuring Turkish-inspired food, chef Philip Busacco uses halloumi cheese as a canvas for this salad, swapping in other fruits, greens, and kinds of fruit molasses. If your grocery store doesn't carry dried mint in the spice aisle, open a bag of peppermint tea.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon crumbled dried mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 small fennel bulb, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 cups loosely packed baby arugula
1/2 cup pitted tart dried cherries
8 ounces halloumi cheese*, cut into 8 slices
4 small sprigs oregano (4 in. each)
How to Make It
Make dressing: Stir ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Make salad: Toss fennel and lemon juice in a small bowl. Put arugula and cherries in a large bowl; set aside.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add halloumi and oregano to dry pan; cook, turning once, until cheese browns (it will exude brine, then dry out), 4 to 6 minutes total. Remove from heat and discard oregano.
Toss arugula and cherries with just enough dressing to coat, then toss with fennel. Divide among plates. Top salads with halloumi. Drizzle dressing over cheese.
*Find at well-stocked supermarkets.
Troya Mediterranean Kitchen, San Francisco
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