I might as well start by saying how much I adore halloumi. I first came across this salty squeaky cheese when making a Nigella recipe that called for slices of it to be melted in top of roasted vegetables. I was instantly hooked. A couple of years later when I went on holiday to Cyprus I bought it stuffed into pitta breads from the takeaway shop opposite our apartments. The night before I gave birth to Finley, my ‘last super’ was roasted veggies and halloumi. Lot’s of happy halloumi memories!
Halloumi isn’t what most people would think of as a health food, but it has a few positive properties in addition to it’s taste, texture and flavour. It’s usually made with a mix of sheep and goats milk which means it can be easier to digest than other cheeses made with cows milk. It’s high in fat, and whilst that also means it can be high in calories, the fat makes it super filling. FYI, never, ever, get reduced fat halloumi, that is a crime!
I’ve posted a recipe with halloumi before, a delicious grilled peach and halloumi salad with walnuts and basil. This is a heartier salad recipe, with the classic halloumi and mint combo as well as lentils which are often paired with halloumi. Then I’ve added some slightly nutty flavoured superfood kale and sweet red onions to give a sweet and salty dimension to the whole dish.
I find that the halloumi and lentils makes this mega filling! This recipe is probably best made and eaten straight away (although the onions, kale and lentils with happily sit in the fridge until you fry up some fresh halloumi) so it makes a nice tasty dinner or weekend lunch.
- 1 large red onion
- 4 handfuls of kale
- 1 tin of green lentils
- 1/2 block of halloumi
- 1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves
- Apple cider vinegar to serve
- 1. Heat some olive oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan.
- 2. Slice the red onion into half moon shapes and add to the pan with a generous pinch of salt
- 3. Saute the onions slowly until they are softened and caramelised
- 4. Strip the kale leaves off the stem and tear into small pieces. Add to the onions and saute until softened
- 5. Drain the lentils and add to the pan
- 6. Set the lentils and veg aside and get a fresh pan over a high heat
- 7. Slice the halloumi thinly then fry each slice, turning when the underside is blistered golden brown
- 8. Divide the lentils and veg between two plates and top with slices of halloumi
- 9. Pull the mint leaves from the stems and roughly chop. Add to the salad
- 10. Finish with a little apple cider vinegar, then eat!
- For a vegan version, replace the halloumi with slices of marinated tofu
As far as cheese goes, halloumi has to be up there as one of my faves. Including it in salads is a lovely light way to enjoy it!
Do you like cheese? If so which is your favourite? How do you like to eat it?