Pasta salad doesn’t have to be boring! While the crisp-tender green beans and herby dressing lovingly adorn the pasta, the perfectly crisped halloumi cheese is the real star here. A healthy splash of gin and generous squeeze of lemon give the caramelized shallots their cravable tang. This salad is excellent at room temperature and can accompany nearly any meal, but it’s particularly great with grilled chicken or salmon. And don’t forget the cocktails— this Negroni Blanc is the perfect pairing.
This recipe comes to us from our friend Carlin St. John of Get Together PDX. Specializing in catering, events, collabs & pop-ups, Get Together PDX provides fantastic food and thoughtful details to create special gatherings and dining experiences. Follow @gettogetherpdx and contact Carlin with catering inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ½ lb green beans, tops and tails removed, cut into 1” pieces
- ½ lb short pasta such as cavatelli, elbow macaroni, or orzo
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup New Deal Gin 33
- 1 tsp honey
- 6 TBS fresh lemon juice, divided
- 8 oz halloumi cheese, divided into 2 equal planks by halving horizontally
- 4 scallions, greens thinly sliced and white parts reserved for another use
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- ¼ cup roughly chopped basil
- 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl by combing 6-8 ice cubes with very cold water, filling the bowl about ½ way.
- Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil with a small handful of salt.
- Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water and cook for 1 minute then, using a slotted spoon, transfer beans to the ice water bath, keeping the boiling water in the pot. Allow beans to fully cool in the ice water bath before draining and setting aside.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss with 1 TBS of olive oil so that the pasta won’t stick to itself. Set aside to cool.
- Caramelize the shallots. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 TBS of olive oil and the sliced shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are becoming translucent and browning in some spots, about 5-7 minutes. Add the gin and cook for 1-2 minutes until the liquid reduces. Add the honey and 2 TBS of lemon juice. Reduce the heat to medium and let the shallots cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and all of the liquid has reduced, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Wipe out the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add 1 TBS olive oil and the halloumi. Cook until the cheese is golden brown, about 4 minutes, then gently flip and cook until the other side has browned. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut cheese into 1” cubes.
- In a large bowl, add the scallion greens, mint, basil, 4 TBS lemon juice, and 2 TBS olive oil, 2 tsp kosher salt, and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Add the cooled pasta, green beans, shallots, and cubed halloumi to the bowl and toss until well combined.