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Yasmin Khan’s recipe for sunshine salad | Food

This cheerful salad is inspired by the magnificent bounty of Cyprus’s late summer produce and – I really make no apologies for this cliché – looks and tastes like sunshine on a plate. Avocados grow in the west of the island, in its unique subtropical microclimate, and the creamy fruit pairs especially well with halloumi, the island’s (and everyone else’s) favourite squeaky cheese.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, or 3 as a main course with some bread
For the salad
sweet potatoes 3 medium-sized (total weight about 1.2kg)
olive oil 2 tbsp
rocket 2 large handfuls
cherry tomatoes 180g (16-18), halved
ripe Hass avocado 1 large, peeled, stoned and sliced
mint leaves a small handful, finely chopped
basil leaves a small handful, finely chopped
halloumi cheese 250g
vegetable oil
salt and black pepper

For the dressing
extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp
apple cider vinegar 1½ tbsp
unwaxed lemon zest ½ tsp, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into wedges that are roughly 3cm thick and 6cm long. Place them in a baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for around 30 minutes, or until they are cooked but still firm.

Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and whisk together.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, let them cool in the tray before putting them in a large serving bowl along with the rocket, tomatoes, avocado and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to ensure everything is well combined.

Slice the halloumi into 8 rectangular pieces and heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the halloumi for a couple of minutes on each side until golden and seared, then arrange it on top of the salad. Serve immediately.

From Ripe Figs by Yasmin Khan (Bloomsbury, £26)