Author of best-selling cookbook Eat Happy and sustainability champion Melissa Hemsley has whipped up show-stopping salad, sure to impress any overnight guests visiting once restrictions have lifted.
Here she shares how to make this tasty salad, combining roasted chestnut mushrooms baked with sweet potato wedges and halloumi.
Za’atar roasted chestnut mushrooms and sweet potato wedges with fried halloumi salad and a chilli honey lemon dressing
Feeds two as a main or four as a side as part of a spread, takes 40 minutes
400g So Chestnut Mushrooms, Organic (Sainsbury’s)
1 tbsp za’atar - ZAY’TOUN ZA’ATAR is by far the tastiest
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
1 handful of pistachios or pumpkin seeds
250g pack of halloumi, sliced into 12, patted dry
Handful ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
4 handfuls rocket or your favourite salad leaves
2 handfuls fresh herbs such as basil and; mint
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon honey chilli dressing
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp za’atar
½ garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
Fresh chilli, finely chopped or chilli flakes, to taste
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Roughly chop the mushrooms into quarters and slice the sweetpotatoes into thin wedges (not too thick so they roast quickly with the mushrooms). Take a roasting tray and tumble the mushrooms and sweet potato wedges onto the tray then tossin oil (or melted ghee) with sea salt and pepper then spread out into one even layer (which helps them roast rather than steam) and roast for 20 minutes.
2. Remove the tray from the oven, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and sprinkle overthe za’atar plus the pistachios, toss again, spread out again and roast for another ten minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and going golden at the edges.
3. Meanwhile make the dressing by finely grating the garlic into a clean jam jar then add the rest of the ingredients, pop the lid on and shake until combined. Alternatively whisk in a small bowl. Season to taste.
4. When you’re ready to eat, on a large serving platter, scatter over the rocket, cherrytomatoes and the fresh herbs, tearing larger ones and keeping smaller herb leaves whole.Distribute the hot mushrooms and sweet potato wedges and drizzle over half the dressing
5. Halloumi of course is best eaten straight from the pan so finally cook the halloumi by heating up a large frying pan and fry the halloumi on each side for about 90 seconds til nicely golden on each side. Then transfer to the salad platter and drizzle over a little more dressing and finish with the rest of the herbs and pistachios.
The UK and Ireland Mushrooms Producers has partnered with Melissa Hemsley to inspire the nation to cook new and flavourful food that highlights the versatility of mushrooms in recipes. For inspiration on how to use tasty mushrooms in an array of meals, head to @madewithmushrooms on Instagram to see the latest creations.