Hello Mediterranean salads! This Zaatar Chicken Salad with Fried Halloumi Cheese is a must try. Bold in flavor with a bright and zesty touch, and ready in 30 minutes. I love pan frying the halloumi cheese in olive oil for extra flavor and crunch, so the contrast in texture is unbeatable. The chicken is seasoned simply with Zaatar spice, lemon juice and garlic powder and pan seared in olive oil. Succulent and delicious chicken salad!
Dear Reader, I have a tiny addiction. It’s called Zaatar. Have you ever tried it? I would probably say this is my go to blend to boost flavor right away. Simply a blend of dried thyme toasted with sesame seeds and sumac. That’s the basic formula, however you’ll find some blends with a touch of cumin and coriander. I personally prefer the simple three ingredients blend the best. It seems like that’s the best way for all flavors to pop and shine.
If you haven’t tried sumac yet, it’s a lemony citrusy floral spice and maybe one of the most prominent flavors of zaatar. Another must try recipe using zaatar which has been made and shared thousands of times on Pinterest is this Labneh Dip with Zaatar Pistachio Mint Olive Topping . I’m assuming all this time that you’ve never tried Zaatar before which may not be the case lol. In case you have, isn’t it ahhmazing? 🙂
Are you a chicken salad person too? I have to say that a chicken salad will always be my first resort when it’s dinner time after a long day. It’s almost my answer to everything when dinner plans look clueless to me. And chicken salad dinners are so versatile, so let’s say you’re in the mood for Italian, go for Italian Balsamic Chicken Salad Recipe. Other days I’ll bake off some Pecan Crust Baked Chicken Tenders , throw in some veggies on my plate and it’s a chicken salad!
I will however admit that egg salads are a no no for me. I don’t know what it is exactly that turns me off from them, and similarly potato salads. But throwing in some hard boiled eggs over my salad is a yes yes. My favorite Salmon Asparagus Sweet Potato Nicoise for example and this Ultimate Tuna Salad Recipe with Olive Dressing are both crowd pleasers here!
Ok before I get into the recipe, I’ve been going through a bit of a bumpy phase in life and I’ll share more in my next post I promise. But in light of losing a big figure in the food world like Anthony Bourdin, I think it’s worth stoping for a minute. I stopped myself to rethink a better, healthier way of accepting anything negative that may come in life. And furthermore, I realize that if I’m not able to do that, then I’ll have to open up about my feelings. No matter how negative they may be. For some reason, carrying a burden of heavy negative feelings is easier than opening up about them. It makes no sense, but it’s a reality.
Back to happy. Zaatar chicken salad happy! And fried halloumi cheese. In reality, while this may seem like a fried mozzarella stick, it’s not. Halloumi cheese doesn’t need to be coated in flour, egg or breadcrumbs. It’s hard enough to handle the hot oil. Also I pan fry it with a bit of olive oil so it has maximum flavor and it really doesn’t taste like fried cheese at all. It’s crunchy on the outside and semisoft on the inside.
As for the chicken, a simple zaatar, lemon juice and garlic powder along with salt an pepper is all all you need. Then sear them in olive oil for 5 minutes on each side and it’s done! gather your favorite salad ingredients, I alms always use arugula for my greens 🙂 Pick your favorite, some sweet peppers, some strawberries, avocado, cucumbers and anything else you prefer. The simplest way to dress a salad like this is a lemon honey dressing, or a dash of pomegranate molasses.
Today, I kept it dressing free. It’s unlike me, I know! I really felt there was enough going on with the zaatar chicken and wanted to taste the halloumi cheese without any distracting flavor. If I were t pick though, I would just drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil. Nothing else. Simple. Delicious. Filling. Flavourful, Easy! Enjoy this one!! 🙂 And stay tuned for something chocolatey, brownie and truffle-y coming your way this week!! yay!!
Zaatar Chicken Salad with Fried Halloumi Cheese
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts cut into strips
- 1/3 cup of Zaatar spice
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 8-10 strips of Halloumi cheese patted dry
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- Sweet bell peppers
- Avocado slices
- Olive oil
- lemon juice
- Parsley leaves minced
- For the chicken, season the chicken with all the spices except the olive oil. Toss well. Heat the olive oil in an 8 inch searing pan and when it’s ready add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes er side (depending on the size of your chicken strips).
- For the cheese, make sure it’s patted dry (don’t stress too much, but just wipe off any moisture on the surface). Heat the olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the strips and let them fry for 2-3 minutes er side until golden slightly. Remove the cheese on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Arrange the salad platter with all the ingredients and drizzle some olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle of fresh parsley leaves. Enjoy 🙂