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Lemony Lentil Salad with Roasted Veggies and Fried Halloumi Cheese

May 30, 2018

Let me tell you what led me to the discovery of my new favorite food: lentil salad with roasted veggies and fried cheese. What’s that? A salad with fried cheese on top? Health meets decadence? Virtue meets indulgence?

YES to all of this.

It started when I had exactly 5 minutes to run through the grocery store, with my whole family waiting out in the car, for a quick stop to ‘pick up a few things’ (have you ever been in that situation? My heart pounded thinking about what will happen if they go rogue on my husband). When I walked by the cheese case and saw Halloumi cheese, ‘great for grilling!’ I grabbed it to possibly throw on the grill with our other food without much thought because *rogue children*.

And then I forgot about it.

Days later when I found it in the cheese drawer, I googled recipes to use it up and found one that fried it with honey. I had to try it.

You’ll find out pretty quickly as you assemble this dish that every single ingredient is delicious on its own and you’ll have to stop yourself from eating it. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower? So good.

Lemony garlic lentils cooked with a bay leaf and vegetable stock? Love.

And the final touch that is really more of a religious experience then salad topping: fried Halloumi cheese that is tossed in honey at the end so it becomes caramelized.

If you haven’t cooked with Halloumi before, it is a Greek hard cheese that is sort of like a cross between Manchego and Feta. It is great for grilling, and these recipes by Bobby Flay and the NYTimes both look excellent.

But this recipe, which is adapted from one by Jamie Oliver, opens up a whole new world for me: frying your cheese and finishing it with honey. The sweet-salty bite is one of those tastes that make you want to keep coming back for another taste. 

This dish composes so many elements – salty cheese, sweet honey, crunchy nuts, toothsome lentils, bitter roasted veggies, sour lemon and pungent garlic to make everything else sing. The dressing poured over the hot lentils infuses so much flavor.

Its truly like nothing I’ve ever eaten before.

It’s also a great dish to bring to a party, since you can cook all the different parts ahead of time, and set aside, then assemble all the ingredients before you go. Or just make it for yourself on a Monday night.

Hope you find a way to bring this into your life – you will thank me!

Lemony Lentil Salad with Roasted Veggies and Fried Halloumi Cheese (printer version here):


4 cups broccoli and cauliflower (I used orange cauliflower)

olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 cup lentils

1 litre organic vegetable stock

1 fresh bay leaf

2 lemons

extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup walnuts or sliced almonds

1 large bunch of mixed soft herbs (parsley, mint, chervil)

250 g halloumi cheese (about a cup)

2 tablespoons runny honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

  2. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into even-sized florets, then spread out in a single layer in a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt & black pepper.

  3. Toss in the unpeeled cloves of garlic, then spread everything out in the tray and pop in the oven. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the veg is cooked through and charred on the outside.

  4. Pop the lentils in a medium-sized pan, pour over the hot stock and add the bay leaf. Gently bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re cooked but still retain some bite. Drain and set aside.

  5. Make the dressing by squeezing the garlic out of its skin into a bowl. Mash until creamy, then squeeze in the lemon juice and season. Whisk to combine, then add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

  6. Toast the walnuts or almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Pick and chop the herb leaves, then toss with the walnuts and set aside.

  7. Toss the hot lentils through the garlic dressing, followed by the roasted veggies, herbs and nuts.

  8. Pour a lug of olive oil into a medium-sized, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Chop and fry the halloumi until it’s golden.

  9. Drizzle over the honey and fry for 1 more minute, until sticky and caramelized. Scatter the halloumi over the salad and serve immediately.


6 Ingredient Zucchini Tart

August 17, 2016


It’s that time of year again, when gardeners and CSA members ask themselves: what else can I do with zucchini?

If your garden is anything like ours, then you might have blinked and then looked down to see one laying on the ground that is roughly the size of a baseball bat:


^ An offering to grandpa. I love how Andrew looks like he is paying homage with all his might.

I’ve seen a ton of recipes around for zucchini (I’ve added my favorites at the end of this post!), but in true Humble Onion philosophy that simple ingredients make the best food, I wanted to make a light zucchini tart with simple ingredients. So I gathered up these:


My number one way to use up garden veggies is just to sautee them with a bit of garlic and either serve them as a side dish or toss with sausage, ground beef and tomato sauce to serve on top of pasta. But zucchini is such a special ingredient I wanted to come up with a recipe that really showcased it’s simple goodness.

Enter puff pastry, which just makes everything special. I usually keep some in my freezer (it is so great for party apps on the fly). I rolled it out, then scored a one-inch boarder around the edge and pricked the middle with a fork so it wouldn’t puff up.


I sautéed some onions with thyme that is over flowing in my herb pot, and then sprinkled some gruyere cheese over that. In case we didn’t all need a reminder that sautéed onions make anything delicious, here is Exhibit A:



Then coat the top with a little olive oil and sprinkle the whole thing with salt, pepper, and cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until crust is brown. And of course, I added more cheese on top, because why not?


Whatever you do, don’t announce that you’re bringing this to something like, say, your final tennis league round robin and then taste it with your husband when it comes out of the oven and is warm and gooey, because if you do, you will have to bring some cheese and crackers and fruit instead since you will have eaten it all. Hypothetically speaking, of course!

The next time I made this (which was 2 days after the first time because it is so good it hurts) we dolloped goat cheese all over the top and it was AH-mazing. It was for my best friend’s house warming party and I honestly don’t think there is a better way to welcome people into your house then cutting up a piece of this tart and giving it to them.


(Cook’s Note: I did try to get the water out of the zucchini the first time by salting it and letting it sit in a colander for an hour and rinsing it, which I usually do for eggplant and zucchini, but I suspected this was unnecessary and the second tart proved me right when I omitted this step and it was a perfect velvet texture. Just in case you thought about it, I thought I would save you the angst.)

I’m going to layer my next one with tomato/zucchini, just waiting on some tomatoes to turn red. The bottom line is you really can’t mess up something so simple, but you can add whatever you want to it – summer squash, eggplant, all the ingredients for ratatouille – and it will still be amazing. Have fun with it.

So if you have any late summer bounty laying around, you know what to do with it! Just call me when it comes out of the oven and I’ll be right over.

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Other Zucchini Recipes I love:

{Tomato and Zucchini Gratin: if you can handle the old blog post pics, this is still my favorite}

Zucchini Parmesan from Alexandra Cooks (she has a ton of links on this for more zucchini recipes too).}

{Baked Zucchini Fries: these are next on my list to make! Or these crisps which are a close variation.}

{We make this zucchini salad with pine nuts when we go to Maine every year}

{Ina’s Zucchini Pancakes – my daughter loves these!}

Even as I added these, this tart remains my favorite. No bias here, obviously.

6-Ingredient Zucchini Tart (printer directions here): 

1 large zucchini, cut into circles or sliced lengthwise

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, diced

1 sprig of thyme, about 3-4 sticks

1 package puff pastry

2 oz. grated gruyere cheese

Olive oil, salt and pepper (since they are staples, not counting them as ingredients)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Let puff pastry thaw according to package (1 hour at room temperature when fully opened, or overnight in the fridge).

Put saute pan over med-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions with a pinch of salt and cook, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, stir frequently, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add thyme and pepper, and cook till onions are browned a little, about 5-8 more minutes.

While onions cook, roll out one piece of puff pastry on clean surface with a rolling pin. (One sheet makes 3-4 servings, for 6-8 servings use two sheets and add more cheese).

Add cooked onions in even layer to pastry. Then add gruyere cheese to cover. Finally add zucchini in co-centric layers, and coat with olive oil using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Alternate Variations:

//  Add dollops of goat cheese to top of tart

//  Use tomatoes, summer squash or eggplant in any combination with zucchini


Easy Mini Pavlovas with Meyer Lemon Curd

May 20, 2016


My dad’s very favorite dessert was Lemon Meringue Pie. When I was little, he would regularly come home from the grocery store with one, and we always served it on his birthday.

So I think it may be a little nod to him that made me want to try to combine these flavors in the gorgeous Pavlova dessert. This is so beautiful I would make it on those grounds alone, but it also happens to be weak-in-the-knees good, with the intense, sharp but sweet Meyer Lemon flavor in the curd mixing with the sweet, light as air, soft but crunchy meringue.

But the best part? In scouring the web to find out how I wanted to make these I found ridiculously easy ways to make BOTH the curd and the pavlova. Like the universe just wanted me to find and share the quickest route to this deliciousness.

I wanted to find something to celebrate the seasonal Meyer Lemons, which are sweeter then normal lemons since they are a cross between a lemon and a clementine, resulting in a strong, sour & sweet citrus symphony.


You can follow this recipe with regular lemons too, and any type of lemon curd is so good on its own – in cookies, cream puffs, slathered on toast.


Many recipes have you carefully tempering the eggs so they don’t curdle. But this version lets you melt a stick of butter in a pot, and then let it cool to lukewarm temperature before you add in the egg yolks.

The rest of the ingredients you just whisk together in a bowl, then pass it through a strainer into the butter/egg yolk mixture. (I should mention that I left to go take kids to sports RIGHT AT THIS STEP. That is how easy this recipe is.)

Then (after you have come back from sports ) you just stir this mixture over low heat, continuously, for 5-8 minutes until it coats your spatula. And then you stick it in an ice bath, and it thickens into glorious, heavenly curd.


The chef who came up with this easy Meyer Lemon Curd recipe wants me to link to his website rather than share the recipe. So I will do just that because he totally deserves a Peace Prize or James Beard something, people. Check it out and give him some love.

For the Pavlovas, I also found another website that offered a super easy, one-step way of making them. The Irish American Mom shares her childhood in Ireland and love of food on her blog, and happily this includes her speedy Pavlovas.


This desert was named after the Russian Ballet Dancer, Anna Pavlova, who was world famous and traveled all around the globe. Some accounts have that it was developed in New Zealand, and it is certainly very popular in New Zeleand and Australia. It is light and fluffy, just like her dancing.

You start by putting egg whites and sugar in a bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients, followed by 1/4 cup of boiling hot water (she attributes this to being the secret ingredient that allows you to make 1-step Pavlovas.) You beat these for 7-10 minutes (so much easier with a stand mixer FYI) until it forms into thick, shiny white peaks.


While this is mixing, prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper, and using a cup, draw 6 2-3 inch circles.

IMG_8827Then turn the sheet over so the circles still show through but the meringue mixture won’t touch the pen or pencil. Drop the meringue onto each circle, and using the back of a spoon, form it into nests by pushing from the center out until a well has formed. Be careful not to make the bottom of the well too thin on the bottom.


Then bake for 1 hour, making sure you don’t open the door during cooking. After they are done, turn off the oven and crack open the door, letting them cool inside the oven.

At this point, Pavlovas are traditionally filled with whipped cream and fruit, but these were fated to be paired with the delicious Meyer Lemon Curd. You can decorate with any fruit you like, but strawberries and berries go particularly well, as do mint leaves. IMG_8893


These desserts are great for a crowd since they are dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free. (Sorry friends with egg allergies, eggs are pretty essential to this dessert).

Happy Eating!

xoxo Katie

Easy Meyer Lemon Curd recipe here

Easy Mini Pavlovas (Printer Version Here):


4 large egg whites

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 t. pure vanilla extract

1 T. cornstarch

2 t. cream of tartar

1 t. White vinegar

4 T. boiling water


Preheat oven to 250.

Separate the egg whites and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, then the vanilla, white vinegar, cream of tartar and cornstarch. Then Add 4 T. boiling water. (Irish American mom believes it is the secret to these one-step pavlovas.)

Set the mixer beating and while you are waiting prepare the baking sheets. (If using a hand mixer, prepare trays before beating the meringue.)

Line 2 cooking sheets with parchment paper, and using a cup that is 2 or 3 inches in diameter, make 6 circles on each tray for a total of 12. Turn the paper upside down so the pen or pencil doesn’t touch the meringue mixture – you’ll still see them.

Beat the mixture until it becomes very thick, and the egg white forms stiff, glossy peaks.

Spoon mixture onto premade circles. Then using the back of a large spoon, form them into little nests, working from the center out to the edges, taking care not leave the bottom too thin or it will burn.

Bake for 60 minutes at 250, then reduce heat to 225 for an additional 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven, and open the door slightly and allow them to cool in the oven. This helps them to create a crispy outer crust (I didn’t do this and mine were a little chewy but I didn’t mind, I still thought they were delicious.) Don’t cool them in the fridge.

After they are cooled, decorate with whipped cream, fruit, or Lemon Curd.
For One Large Pavlova: Instead of making 12 mini circles, just use a dinner plate to make one large circle, and spread into one big nest.

Pavlova Recipe from









Summer Inspiration

July 10, 2013


One of the things I love about cooking and writing is there is always, always more to learn, and new ways to be inspired.

We just took a trip to visit my husband’s college friends on Cape Cod, Matt and Heather, and they are super smart scientists who used to live in Oregon.  They love good food and they are wonderfully healthy, very inspirational. Case in point: I turned around to see Matt straining what looked like cheese or yogurt from one jar to another.  “Are you making your own mozzarella?” I asked (a dream of mine to try one day for the record). “Kefir,” replied Matt. He was making his own kefir. 

That is a first for me, but if you are reading this and have made some yourself, complete with your own colony of bacteria in a little cartalidge-y ball that you talk about like they are house guests, color me impressed. And when Heather was laying on the hammock one morning I thanked her for the amazing breakfast of whole grain waffles and mangos, and she said “Oh, you’re welcome. I was actually just lying here thinking about dinner.” Girl after my own heart. Love those kinds of people.

Maybe it was vacation, maybe it was the people we were visiting, or maybe it was just summer itself, but I left feeling very inspired. Here is a short list of what is making me so happy right now:

1. Time With Family – I know it is cheesy, but nothing fills you up like each other. We had an overnight in Boston before we left for the Cape, and since that is where my husband and I worked and met and dated and fell in love, it was surprisingly moving and connected us to our old selves, so nice after baby.  We took the kids to the Children’s Museum and Fanueil Hall, and showed them where we worked, then to the Aquarium.  Going to try to drink in my kids, at these ages, and my husband, who gets to slow down a bit in the summer.

2.  Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist – I have been reading this author’s blog and this book while I feed the baby.  It is about how food connects us in a deep way, not only because it nourishes us but the act of sharing it creates some of our most intimate and sacred times with the people we love. I love thinking about it in this way, it puts words to my impulses about food and family, and I understand more why feeding the people I love calls me and others so much. She also wrote Bittersweet, about enjoying the pain in life along with the good, and Cold Tangerines, about celebrating life. Her blog is filled with so many great book recommendations too, my Amazon shopping cart grows each time I sit down to feed the baby.  But I am so happy I have so much good reading for this summer, and will fill you in on what is great!

 3. First Summer Tomato from our garden –


I am so grateful to my father in law, who has planted us a garden for the last few years.  Such an amazing gift from such a wise and stoic guy. He knows what it means to us and doesn’t do it for the thank yous but for how it will literally nourish our family, physically and spiritually.  And with pregnancies and babies it wouldn’t have happened on my own. He is my model for selfless giving.  I ate it with a big bowl of quina, chicken sausages, fresh corn and smoked gouda:

4. This pizza: It is from Stone L’Oven in East Falmouth, MA. It is (are you ready), sweet potato, spinach, goat cheese and balsamic pizza. I die. Cannot wait to recreate at home and hope you do the same.  They diced the sweet potatoes really small.

5. The Farmer’s Market – Along with the other 300 million people in the US, I love my town’s farmer’s market. I don’t take any claim for originality for this topic, but my little town just started one. It was hard getting to the one in the town next to us, so it is the first time I have been in a while and I went with the kids and it felt super special. They had maple soft serve ice cream, chocolate samples, and a guy in the gazebo playing Paul Simon. Love it all.  I picked up some wonderful margarita flat bread pizzas to take to book club, and some yummy breads.  I did not, however, buy any greens.  Don’t we always leave with wine and cheese and chocolate when we intend to get vegetables? Next time I will, I promise.

6. Instagram – I know, I am WAY behind on this one.  I finally set up my account and it has been crazy fun capturing moments from our trip.


7. My Book Club – we just had our annual meeting on the beach with a bonfire, really heavenly. It was also the first time I have been back since I had the baby.  The combination felt really special as did the warmth of all those lovely ladies, asking to see pictures of Andrew and just laughing a ton.  Maybe it was the beach or my lack of adult interaction, but it filled me up in a big way.  We also make a ton of food at these, and I left with two take away must-make dishes:

***Bacon Tomato Dip: Stir together cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, tomatoes and onion or scallions. Serve with grilled or toasted buttered bread. Really really good, thanks Martha!

***Campfire Cones: Take waffle cones, fill them with mini marshmellows, and mini chocolates like rolos and peanut butter cups, wrap it all in tin foil and stick in/near the logs of a camp fire. Be careful to wrap tightly so cone doesn’t burn. Then take out and all the gooey chocolate mess is SO good.

8. Andrew –  this is such a fleeting, special time when you have a young baby.  I can’t even believe how happy this little man makes me.  His smiles and his coos and his great personality make me excited even for night time feedings.  And he always goes right back to sleep.

What is inspiring you this summer?  I would love to hear it!!