By: Chef Ben Davis
Grilled Fennel, Cherry and Haloumi Salad
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground fennel seeds
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs fresh cherries, pitted
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 bulbs fresh fennel
2 cups arugula, washed and dried
1 block Haloumi cheese
1. Toast the cinnamon, fennel seed, and cloves in a small pan over a low flame for 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. While the spices are still warm add to the oil. Set aside.
2. Juice ½ of the cherries and place the juice in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, reduce the juice to a syrup about 1/3 cup in volume, add the vinegar, then slowly whisk in the infused oil. Season to taste and set aside.
3. Cut the tops off the fennel and reserve the fronds. Cut the bulbs in half from top to bottom and place them in a deep pan. Cover the fennel with cold water, add a generous pinch of kosher salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Place over a medium flame and bring the water to a simmer. Cook the fennel until the center is tender to the tip of a knife. Drain well and allow to dry for a few minutes.
4. Preheat the Wolf grill over high heat. When the grill is hot, reduce the heat to medium on the side opposite the sear burner. Place the fennel cut side down over the sear burner and mark for 30 to 45 seconds. Move the fennel to the other side and cook until hot all the way through, about 10 minutes. While the fennel is cooking, place the halloumi cheese on the sear burner and mark quickly on each side so that the cheese gets a nice brown, crisp skin. Remove and set aside.
5. Remove the fennel from the grill and cut it into ¼” slices and set it aside. Arrange the arugula on a platter or in a bowl and then scatter the fennel, reserved cherries, and fennel fronds. Dice the cheese into cubes and add to the salad. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.
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