REAL Chefs with Maria Elia – Halloumi, orange, fennel and pistachio salad

Award-winning chef, author, and globetrotting foodie extraordinaire, Maria Elia has worked in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens. Now based in London, she is a consultant and teacher, as well as the founder of Smashing Plates, a residency at Great Guns Social SE1 that draws on her Anglo-Greek heritage and redefines Greek cuisine as we know it.

Maria Elia is donating to Hospitality Action.


Halloumi, orange, fennel and pistachio salad – recipe

Serves 2-3


  • 1 250g block of Halloumi
  • 2 small oranges
  • 1 small bulb fennel
  • Handful of Basil leaves (fresh mint or a pinch of dried oregano would work equally well)
  • 25g pistachios, roasted and crushed
  • Pinch of black Turkish chilli (Pul Biber) or red chilli flakes if unavailable
  • REAL Dry Dragon Kombucha
  • Clear honey (see note)
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Place a third of a bottle of Dry Dragon kombucha in a small saucepan and reduce to form a gastrique/ syrup (This is an optional step, otherwise use a drizzle of Greek honey).

Using a microplane remove the zest from one of the oranges and set aside.

Top, tail and remove the zest and pith from the oranges and slice into ½ cm slices.

Finely slice the fennel bulb into thin slithers and toss the orange zest, some sea salt and a glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Slice the Halloumi into 1-1.5 cm pieces, heat a little olive oil in a large non stick pan and fry the Halloumi on either side until golden, drizzle with the reduced Kombucha or a little Greek honey.

Alternatively, drizzle with olive oil and char on hot BBQ or griddle pan.

Arrange fennel and oranges slices on a large plate, sprinkle top with the halloumi, sprinkle with pistachios, chilli and basil leaves, drizzle with oil and serve immediately with a chilled glass of REAL Dry Dragon.



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