Halloumi is the squeakiest, tastiest cheese there is, and it’s funny to think that not so long ago it was hard to find it in any large supermarkets. Growing up, it was a specialist/Continental shop or we’d have to go without. As a British Greek Cypriot that meant sad times! Imagine a world without easily-accessible halloumi huh-well, that was my childhood!
Cypriot eats halloumi a lot, I’ve even seen relatives making it by hand in Cyprus. We enjoy it with slices of watermelon and halloumi sandwiches drizzled in ketchup (trust me, it’s epic).
This salad here though, is my favourite way of eating halloumi now that I’m gluten-free. The capers and lemon add some welcome sharpness to the salty cheese.
Yes it’s a super easy recipe, but I wanted to share it here as readers often tell me how bored they are with their go-to healthy lunch recipes so I thought this would liven things up a bit and it can, of course be enjoyed all year round.
It also makes a tasty starter for a two or three course meal you might rustle up for a special occasion. Think of it as the Cypriot alternative to Prawn Cocktail!
It is of course also low carb/high protein so will keep you full for longer.
- 1 halloumi cheese (full fat is the tastiest, washed)
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
- Any salad you like. I prefer mixed green leaves, cucumber and tomatoes here.
- handful of green olives
- 1 ripe avocado, de-stoned, peeled and chopped
For the dressing:
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- splash of white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of capers, drained
- salt and pepper to season
Make your dressing first as the halloumi cooks quickly. In a bowl whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and white wine vinegar together. Add the capers. Set aside or refrigerate. Slice the halloumi into thick slices on a chopping board (should cut into 8 slices so each person has 4 per dish). Ensure no water remains before frying (pat with kitchen towel if necessary). Heat the mild olive oil in a large pan/griddle pan and once hot, place the halloumi in, turning once golden. Prepare your salad bowls placing preferred vegetables. Lay the halloumi on top and drizzle with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
It also works well with chopped coriander or flat parsley on the top too!
I like this dressing on lamb chops too, adding handfuls of finely chopped coriander to create a salsa.
Let me know if you try it, won’t you!