Fire Roasted Root Veggie Salad with Fire Grilled Haloumi Cheese and Egyptian Dokka
By Chef Monika Wahba
Read out Q&A with Monika here.
*Can be done on any kind of BBQ or oven if fire pit is not available*
Root Veggie Salad:
- Beets 5
- Carrots 2
- Radishes 6
- Garlic 3 cloves
- Ghee or Butter 1.5 tbsp
- Haloumi Cheese as desired
- Lemon 1
- Honey 2 tbsp
- Fresh Herbs (Mint, Parsley, and Coriander)
- Peanuts ¼ cup
- Cashews ¼ cup
- Sunflower Seeds ¼ cup
- Pumpkin Seeds ¼ cup
- Cumin Powder 1 heaping tbsp
- Coriander Powder 1 heaping tbsp
- Sesame Seeds 2 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Chili Flakes pinch
Combine all nuts and spices, (except sesame seeds), salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse until all the ingredients become fine. It is important to pulse the food processor periodically to avoid the Dokka from turning into butter. Once the nuts and spices are uniform, taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan on low heat. Once golden, mix into your Dokka mixture and set aside. Dokka is being used as a garnish in this salad but is traditional eaten with warm bread and extra virgin olive oil.
Roasting veggies on an open fire is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. With this salad we will roast the beets separately and dry, to seal in their natural sugar and caramelize them. Bundle the washed and dry beets in a large piece of heavy-duty tinfoil to ensure they are wrapped and sealed. If the tinfoil gets punctured, wrap it with a second piece to trap the steam. For the perfect roasted veggies, wait until the fire has burned down to white and orange coals, no open flames. Place the bundle of beets directly over the coals.
Wash carrots and radishes. Peel and chop carrots into diagonal pieces and cut radishes in half.
In a bowl combine carrots, radishes, garlic, ghee, honey, generous pinch of salt and pepper. Before you cut your lemon, zest the skin directly on the bowl of veggies. Set some zest aside for garnish. After zesting, cut the lemon in half, juicing one half on the carrots and radish, setting the other half aside for after roasting. Mix all the veggies and seasoning together and bundle them up on the second piece of tinfoil. Place the carrots and turnips on the embers 40 minutes after the beets.
Set timer for 1 hour.
Place cast iron pan onto a grill or stone set in the fire. While the pan is heating up, cut the cheese into ¼ inch slices. Once the pan is hot, using ghee, butter, or vegetable oil, fry the haloumi until the edges start to brown and lift from the pan. Flip and fry until the other side is nice and golden and remove from the fire.
When the 1-hour timer is finished, remove the veggies from the fire and let rest.
Once the veggies are cool enough to handle, peel the beets using your hands (gloves recommended), the peel should slide right off. Chop the beets into wedges and arrange on a large flat dish of your choosing. Scatter the carrots amongst the beets to achieve colour contrast. Place the haloumi cheese on top of the veggies and then place the radishes. Squeeze the second half of the lemon all over the plate. Rip fresh mint, parsley and coriander leaves from the stem and decoratively place throughout the plate. Generously sprinkle the Dokka all over the plate and finish with the lemon zest and the salad is ready to serve.
Photo Credit: Monika Wahba