Fresh figs or pears with halloumi and rocket

LEVEL: Beginner



6 ripe fresh figs or ripe pears
250g halloumi cheese, cut into
1cm slices
large bunch of rocket
olive oil, for frying
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

50ml cider vinegar
25ml olive oil
1 tbsp clear honey
2 tsp za'atar or sesame seeds


Any time you see ripe figs, the sort that have a deep-red flesh and a fragrance, you absolutely must buy them. They’re available for such a short time, but oddly you see them in the most unlikely places. In supermarkets you can sometimes find them perfectly ripe at very little cost, other times you pay a premium for them in the swankiest delis. You just have to keep an eye open. But otherwise, if I have some pears that have ripened in the fruit bowl at home they work rather brilliantly here. You can also use moist dried figs. You can add other vegetables to this dish if you want to skip the halloumi. Roasted tomatoes glazed with a little pomegranate molasses and sprinkled with salt are excellent, as are green beans coated in tahini dressing and carefully spooned on top.

Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together with a fork in a small bowl.

For the salad, cut the figs into quarters, or peel and cut the pears into good chunks, and toss with the dressing. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan, add a little oil, then fry the halloumi until golden on each side. Keep warm on a plate while you cook the remaining cheese slices.

To serve, place the rocket in a wide, flattish bowl, strain the fruit, reserving the dressing, then scatter the fruit over the rocket and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the warm halloumi slices over the salad and spoon some of the reserved dressing over them.