Looking for a new and delicious way to salad? Halloumi Cheese Salad will win your heart with it’s hearty texture, fresh mint, tomatoes and a sweet citrus honey dressing!
Salads and more salads are due before the summer ends. So while today’s halloumi cheese salad is not seasonal and doesn’t rely on seasonal fruits, I still feel it’s a summer salad!
Before we chat about salad, can we chat all about Halloumi?
So What Is Halloumi?
It’s a semi hard cheese that’s made mainly from sheep milk. Often time it could be combined with goat and cow’s milk too.
Because it’s mainly from sheep milk, you’ll notice that it’s an expensive type of cheese. Another thing you’ll notice is it’s a salty cheese since it’s always brined. And many recipe will call for soaking the cheese before cooking (more on that below).
This cheese is probably the most popular in Turkey and it’s neighbouring countries all the way to the Middle East.
My favorite thing about Halloumi cheese and why it’s unique, is because it has a high meltig point. Because of that, Halloumi cheese is ideal for grilling or frying without melting or spreading around.
What Does Halloumi Taste Like?
Very neutral, almost like mozzarella or paneer. Since it’s brined, it’s saltier than those cheeses, however not as salty as feta cheese. It has a delicious bite and almost slightly rubbery but in the most complimentary way!
Today’s recipe is about Grilled Halloumi. Once grilled, the saltiness in the cheese isn’t as noticable anymore. And the texture of grilled halloumi is pleasantly chewy.
The taste is still the same neutral taste, less salty and you will probably taste a slight char from grilling. While it’s still warm, the cheese will feel more tender and soft compared to when it cools off.
To grill the cheese you’ll need olive oil and a stove top grill pan or griddle for your BBQ.
You’ll start off by slicing the cheese (any shape and thickness you prefer) and grill each piece of cheese for two minutes on each side on a hot grill surface brushed with olive oil.
Honestly, right off the grill, if you just add a spinkle of chilli flakes and an extra drizzle of olive oil, that would be my grilled halloumi perfection!
Simillarly, Halloumi cheese is an excellent candidate for frying! No freezing or chilling required before frying, because it doesn’t melt into a mess.
To fry halloumi cheese, you can either slice and fry right away, or you can slice, coa the cheese in seasoned flour (or breadcrumbs) and fry.
Traditionally, frying this cheese is done with olive oil and it’s not deep frying. Its pan frying with plenty of olive oil for flavor and crisp.
So you’ll need a deep skillet with about 2 inches of olive oil, and you’ll fry the cheese in the oil flipping them halfway.
While I prefer grilled halloumi over fried, I absolutely LOVE making spicy Halloumi Fries— but that’s another post for another day.
How to Eat Halloumi?
You can enjoy this cheese, plain, hot right off the grill, fried, or just raw. So yes you can eat raw Halloumi and you can eat cold halloumi, however it’s much tastier grilled or fried.
If your read above on grilling the chese, you can simply drizzle olive oil and eat halloumi or make in to a salad, a sandwich, make halloumi fries, serve it along grilled veggies and more.
Soaking Halloumi Cheese
Since the cheese comes in brine, it may taste saltier than you expect and in this case (also depending on the recipe) you may need to soak the cheese.
Remember it’s less salty than feta, and as it cooks (grill or fry) the saltiness fades away slighty.
If you choose to soak the halloumi cheese, place the cheese in a bowl of water before slicing. Soak the cheese for at least two hours and then slice and serve.
Squeaky or Rubbery Halloumi Cheese Texture
It’s often niticable when you try raw halloumi, you often feel a squeaky or rubbery texture against your teeth. And that’s from the long strands of protein in the cheese. This usually fades away a lot after grilling or frying.
What do you eat Halloumi with?
ANYTHING! I love it as it is, grilled, fried, with bread, with eggs, with grilled chicken, with marinara sauce, and more!
I have an affinity for enjoying it with salads. Salad like this one and the ones below:
HOW TO MAKE THIS SALAD
First of all, you need to decide to soak or not to soak youe cheese. I don’t frankly soak it, because the slight brine/saltiness doesn’t bother me. However if you want a milder tasting cheese, soak it in water for 2 hours before proceeding.
Slice and grill the Halloumi cheese.
Grill the shitsito peppers and chop along with the grilled cheese.
Toss the salad ingredients: arugula, chives, olives, tomatoes and fresh mint.
Honey Citrus Dressing
Blend in a bowl some garlic,, honey, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and fresh thyme (optional). Season and mix that with a whisk or spoon.
Drizzle the dressig over the salad and enjoy!!
- You may need to soak your store bought Halloumi cheese in water for 2 hours before using it because it comes in brine. It is however less salty than feta cheese, so often cases, I don’t need soaking.
- Halloumi is great grilled : Rainbow Power Grilled Halloumi Salad
- Also Fried Halloumi is great:Zaatar Chicken Salad with Fried Halloumi Cheese
- You can eat the cheese raw, grilled or fried. It has a high meting point so it doesn’t melt.
- It has a chewy texture which is makes it a hearty and filing vegetarian option.
- It tastes very neutral so you can flavor it with any spice and dip it with several dips.
Halloumi Cheese Salad
- 6-8 ounces Halloumi cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups shitshito peppers
- 2 cups tomatoes
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup black olives
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 1/2 cup chopped chives
Honey Citrus Dressing
- 1 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme optional
- Chilli flakes optional
Slice the cheese and soak in water if you decide to do so (more on the notes below). Slice the cheese into half an inch thick slices.
Preheat a non stick grill pan and add to it the olive oil over medium heat.
Grill the cheese for1-2 minutes per side. Remove the cheese and add the peppers, and increase the heat to high. Allow the peppers to charr for 3 minutes per side.
When the peppers have cooled slightly, chop them and the cheese into an inch size pieces.
Toss them with the remaining salad ingredients.
Make the dressing by mixing everything together in a small bowl and dress it over the salad! Serve and Enjoy!
You may need to soak your store bought Halloumi cheese in water for 2 hours before using it because it comes in brine. It is however less salty than feta cheese, so often cases, I don’t need soaking.
Halloumi is great grilled :
Also Fried Halloumi is great:
You can eat the cheese raw, grilled or fried. It has a high meting point so it doesn’t melt.
It has a chewy texture which is makes it a hearty and filing vegetarian option.
It tastes very neutral so you can flavor it with any spice and dip it with several dips.