Pan fried halloumi salad is a very flavorful vegetarian salad that will please everyone, even the meat eaters. Halloumi if you have not had it before is a sheeps milk and ewes milk cheese made in the Mediterranean.
It is salty and firm making it a great grilling cheese that can stand up to heat. If you cannot find Halloumi cheese, a great substitute is Queso blanco frying cheese that can be found in many supermarkets.
Some stores will only carry halloumi in the spring since it is traditionally made then. These days since it is being very popular it is more and more common to find it all year long.
Where to Buy Halloumi Cheese:
- You can find halloumi in your local grocery store in the specialty cheese section.
- I have also found halloumi at Trader Joes (only in the spring) and Whole Foods market (year round).
Halloumi is an extremely delicious cheese that I make into a meal at least once a week. This recipe is more of a lighter meal, one that I like to eat in summer when it is really hot and light meals are in order.
It makes a wonderful meal prep item for lunches if you are going the lighter route like with this recipe. Many people choose to add a grilled meat to this dish to make it a more substantial meal as well.
I personally love it just the way it is.
When making this pan fried halloumi, the heat of your pan will draw out the liquids in your cheese and leave you with lots of liquid in the pan. You will want to drain this away after it happens so you get a nice sear on your fried cheese.
After you have done this, this is when the seasoning goes on to your cheese. In this fried halloumi salad recipe, I use soy sauce. I like to add the soy sauce to the halloumi in the dry pan after the cheese’s liquids have been removed.
The best way to remove the liquid after initially heating the halloumi is to just tilt your saute pan and spoon it out. It is very quick and worth it. This is the difference between boiled cheese and pan fried.
You can do so much with halloumi from adding it to your tacos to salads. It will pick up any flavor combination beautifully. This method with the soy sauce is my favorite!
Pan Fried Halloumi Salad
- 1 6 oz package of halloumi cheese
- 1/4 cup of mixed olives pitted spanish and kalamata
- 1 small chili pepper such as serrano seeds removed and sliced thin into ringsif you don’t like spicy use 1/2 the pepper or just omit the pepper all together
- 1 shallot diced
- 1/4 white vinegar
- 4 tbsp of olive oil (3 tbsp for dressing plus 1 tsp for the pan)
- 1 bag of arugula salad
- 1/8 cup of roasted and salted pistachios shells removed
- 1 tsp of sugar salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
- In a medium bowl, add your vinegar, sugar and sliced chili peppers and mix well and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to lightly pickle the peppers.
- While the vinegar and chilis are coming together, you can start making your salad.
- On a medium to large platter, add your arugula. In a medium bowl, add your olive oil, olives and shallots and a pinch of salt and mix well and set aside.
- Now, slice your halloumi cheese lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. You should get about 5-6 slices from one block of the halloumi cheese.
- Pre-heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, begin adding your halloumi cheese to the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes a side.
- At this point you will see your halloumi cheese sweat out it's liquid. Once this happens, tilt your pan and spoon out the liquid and discard.
- After removing the liquid from the pan, pour your soy sauce evenly over your halloumi.
- After a couple minutes, with a spatula, check to see if the cheese is browning before flipping. If it has a nice caramel color forming go ahead and flip the cheese over and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes. If it is not brown continue cooking until it is and then flip and cook the other side.
- When the halloumi is done cooking, carefully remove it from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
- Going back to the salad, take your bowl of vinegar and chilis and add that to your olive oil and olives bowl and mix it all in. This is your vinaigrette for your salad.
- To assemble
- Take your cooked halloumi and lay it over your bed of arugula. Now taste your dressing with the olives and chilis and see if it needs any salt and pepper (remember that the halloumi cheese is salty so be careful not to add too much salt to your dressing). Drizzle your dressing and all of its ingredients over the top of the halloumi cheese until it is all used up.
- Now sprinkle the pistachios over the top of that.
- Serve your halloumi salad with a nice crusty bread for people to make open face sandwiches with or to eat as a side with their salad.;Enjoy!
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