Cheese….It’s What’s For Dinner

Put salty, squeaky halloumi cheese front and center in this main course salad. The heat from serrano peppers and the cooling flavor of fresh mint elevate this simple ingredient. Cumin-lime chickpeas add healthy protein and tang to round it all out. An impressive dinner salad on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Get ready to fall in love with a new ingredient: halloumi cheese.

Everybody loves cheese, right? But it’s something you put on top of other food for fun. Its not the featured item of your dinner plate – until now.

Meet halloumi cheese – a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, semi-firm, salty goodness.

Find halloumi near feta in most grocery stores

Halloumi is famous for being a cheese you can grill. It has a very high melting point so you can literally treat it like a piece of chicken.

Most recipes using halloumi are simply that – a grilled piece of cheese served as an appetizer.

A lot of the recipes online show it being breaded and then fried (idea for your air fryer if you are playing with that).

My Seared Halloumi Salad with Cumin-Lime Chickpeas, Mint and Pistachios puts the cheese front and center with a supporting side. This is an adaption a recipe I found in an issue of Food To Love: Flexible Plant-Based Recipes that I picked up at the checkout of Whole Foods. (Great issue, click link to buy it online or Google to buy the digital version even cheaper – sadly it appears the magazine isn’t producing anymore issues.)

Halloumi has a satisfying, salty bite which would be too much on its own so I paired with fresh greens, good olive oil, fresh mint, a little kick from serrano peppers and the crunch of freshly shelled pistachios to balance it out. The cumin-lime chickpeas add tanginess as well as additional healthy protein.

Best part? This impressive dinner salad comes together in about 15 minutes.

Seared Halloumi Salad with Cumin-Lime Chickpeas, Mint and Pistachios

Put salty, squeaky halloumi cheese front and center in this main course salad. The heat from serrano peppers and the cooling flavor of fresh mint elevate this simple ingredient. Cumin-lime chickpeas add healthy protein and tang to round it all out. An impressive dinner salad on the table in less than 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: chickpeas, halloumi, mint, pistachios
Servings: 2
Calories: 1007kcal

Ingredients

Cumin-Lime Chickpeas

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Halloumi Salad

  • 2 cups mixed greens (I use arugula and kale)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4-6 slices halloumi cheese (1/4 inch thick)
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup fresh shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil to finish

Instructions

Make the cumin-lime chickpeas

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and cumin. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the diced serrano (throw in a few seeds for extra heat), the chickpeas and the halved cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine and set aside to marinate while you prepare the halloumi salad.

Assemble the salald

  • Heat a cast iron grill pan over med-high heat. Make sure it is nice and hot. Spray generously with cooking spray. Add the halloumi slices and sear for about 2.5 minutes per side or until you have nice grill marks.
  • Meanwhile, divide the greens between two large salad bowls. Divide the avocado slices between each bowl. Place the chickpeas in the middle, dividing between the two bowls.
  • Place half of the halloumi on top of chickpeas. Sprinkle with mint and pistachios. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Notes

If you are looking for main course dinner salads, look no further.  This is a unique idea that is easy but impressive.  
Salty and firm halloumi cheese is complimented by the heat of serrano chili peppers and the cooling flavor of fresh mint.  Tangy cumin-lime chickpeas and cherry tomatoes round it out.  
The serrano (or jalapeno) and mint are crucial to this recipe.  It is a go-to for me when I see that mint has made a run in my garden.  
Warming up the pistachios in a dry pan for a few minutes adds even more to the flavor but its totally optional.
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 1007kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 93g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 693mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 816IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 415mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Published by Jenny G

I'm sipping coffee in the morning, reading a cookbook for fun. Always planning my next trip and what I'll eat when I get there. Hoping to inspire others who share my love of cooking and eating, and to celebrate the wonderous diversity of food. I love to explore the world so I'll share my best itineraries and travel tips. Of course, sometimes I'd rather be snuggled up with a glass of wine and a good book so let's discuss those here too. And don't forget to feed the birds!

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