Grilled zucchini, haloumi, dill and caper salad

I've dropped the blogging ball in recent times, and there's a few reasons for that. Whether or not you're interested, I'm going to delve into them now. Sorry.

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Firstly, if you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen me frolicking around Mexico, drinking too many cocktails during the day, and generally disregarding most of my adult responsibilities. When you're 3 margaritas deep at 2.30pm, blogging is definitely an adult responsibility. 

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The other reason, one that many of you might be able to relate to, is that I have been entirely burnt out by the never ending creative work that comes with Instagramming and blogging. I think there's been an enormous shift in the world of Instagram of late, one which has left me quite unmotivated and a lil bit disillusioned. What was once a domain for sharing in the minute accounts of daily life, and creating communities around common interests, seems now to be a competition as to who can include the most edible flowers on their plate, or who can pull off the avocado flower with the most finesse. 

Don't get me wrong, I love edible flowers (avocado and otherwise) as much as the next person, I really do. I get a small jolt of excitement when I sprinkle them atop something, taking it from 5/10 to 7.9/10 with good lighting (something fake tan does for me on a personal level)  But I can't help feeling nostalgic for the glory days of Instagram, where we were all so excited about sharing what we were eating in the moment that professional photography, lighting, and a fruit platter with ten different exotic fruits, captioned as 'a quick breakfast', didn't even enter into it.

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It has taken me some time with my heart completely not in it, some midday margaritas and some edible flower dalliances to come to a conclusion that should be innate, but apparently is no longer so: food doesn't need to be stunning 24/7. Not everything needs edible flowers. Everybody eats ugly food, whether or not their Instagram account admits to it. And with this revolutionary epiphany that I'm surely the first person to experience, my inspiration to create things has returned. Sometimes ugly. Sometimes with edible flowers involved. 

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FOR THE SALAD:
4 zucchinis, sliced lengthways in a medium thinness
1 block of haloumi, cubed (normally 180g but who would say no to extra haloumi ammirite)
1 tablespoon of capers
1 medium handful of dill (depends how much you are obsessed with dill, so for me, 1000 handfuls)
grated lemon zest, to serve

FOR THE DRESSING:
3 tablespoons olive oil
10g dill, chopped (a small handful)
1/2 lemon juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 bruised clove of garlic

METHOD

1. Using your weapon of choice for grilling (I use and am mildly obsessed with a sandwich press for said purpose - whack some baking paper and some olive oil spray on and your zucchini will be golden before you can say 'but isn't that just for making toasted sandwiches?')
2. Once you have grilled all da zucchini, set it aside with a sprinkle of salt on top. Grab a pan, and heat the hotplate to a medium high heat. Once it's ready to go, add a light spray of olive oil and throw in 1/4 or so of the haloumi. Because you're browning cubes of it, it's easier to keep an eye on with smaller quantities. If you consider yourself a non haloumi burning ninja, then go right ahead and cook it all at once. 
3. In a small saucepan, add all the ingredients for the dressing, and turn the heat to medium. Cook gently for about 10-15 minutes, until it starts to become fragrant, with refined notes and undertones of dill and garlic. Or something. 
4. Take the dressing off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Assemble your zucchini and haloumi on a decorative plate of choice (see above rant on Instagram these days) and sprinkle with the dill and capers. Top with a drizzle of the dressing, and finish with the freshly grated lemon zest. 
 

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