Elevate your Summer salads with this Halloumi salad, with fried halloumi cheese “croutons” combined with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and herbs, all tossed in a red wine vinegar vinaigrette.
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that originally came from the island of Cyprus, in the Mediterranean region. It is traditionally made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk, although cow’s milk can also be used.
Halloumi has a high melting point, which means it can be grilled or fried without losing its shape. This makes it a great choice for quickly frying and adding to salads or other dishes.
Halloumi has a slightly salty and tangy flavour, with a chewy and rubbery texture. It reminds me a bit of cheese curds, just a bit saltier.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Halloumi – Halloumi cheese is very easy to find in my part of the world, at least. It is sometimes labelled as Halloom. It comes in plain and often flavoured versions, such as Mediterranean spiced or Herb and Garlic. I generally use plain, but flavoured will work just fine here too.
Paneer is a decent substitute if you can’t find Halloumi, though not as salty, so you can add a bit more salt to the salad.
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes – Use any small tomato, cherry or grape, red or a mixture of colours.
Cucumber – English cucumber works perfectly in this salad.
Red Onion – it’s hard to beat red onion in a fresh salad, so that would be the best option. Yellow onion will work here, in a pinch.
Fresh Cilantro and Basil – adding fresh herbs to this salad really makes it extra special, so I do recommend one or the other or ideally, both cilantro and basil.
Spring Mix – any baby lettuce mix will work here or substitute baby arugula.
- Prepare and collect all the salad ingredients.
- Add the tomato, cucumber and onion to a large bowl, the drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Add the fresh cilantro and basil and stir to combine.
- Add the lettuce and toss to combine.
- Add Halloumi cubes to hot oil in a frying pan.
- Cook, stirring regularly, about 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Add to salad and enjoy!
There is no exact amount of halloumi you need to add to your salad. Use more or less, as you like it.
As Halloumi is quite salty, be sure not to over-salt the salad itself.
This salad will serve 4 people as a side salad or 2 as a main dish.
Unfortunately, this is not a great salad for making ahead. The fried halloumi just doesn’t keep well (it becomes unpleasantly hard after heating and refrigerating). The lettuce doesn’t hold up terribly well either once tossed with the vinaigrette. So enjoy this one freshly made.
You can prep the vegetables and make the vinaigrette ahead, but assemble when you are ready to eat. It takes only a few minutes to fry the Halloumi. That way you’ll be able to enjoy the warm cheese!
Get the Recipe: Fried Halloumi Salad
- 30 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 English cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups spring mix lettuce, or arugula
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4-7 oz halloumi cheese, cut into ½-inch pieces (100-200g – to taste)
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, and cucumber. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and season with some salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Add the red onion, cilantro, mint and basil to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the lettuce and toss together. Transfer to a serving plate and set aside.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the halloumi dry with paper towels, then cook it until golden-brown, stirring regularly, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon warm halloumi over-top of salad, season lightly with a bit more salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!