Monday, May 12, 2008

Grilled Halloumi Salad Recipe with Chicken, Mini-Peppers, and Lemon

Grilled Halloumi SaladI've always been passionately interested in trying new foods, and when I started reading food blogs my list of things to try got a lot longer. Several years ago I heard about Halloumi cheese, and I was eager to taste this type of salty goat and sheeps milk cheese that can be grilled or fried. Unfortunately I couldn't seem to find Halloumi in Salt Lake, so I just put it on my "try when traveling" list.

Then about two month ago I was walking through my favorite neighborhood grocery store and I spotted some Halloumi in the cheese case. I managed to buy some without creating too much of a scene, and I had fun trying it out with my girlfriends. Definitely I'm now a Halloumi fan. Here's a salad I created with Halloumi and leftover rotisserie chicken, but truly this cheese would be good on just about anything. I grilled the cheese in this photo on my stove-top grill pan but now that it's grilling weather, I can't wait to try Halloumi on the outdoor grill.

Cut chicken into pieces about 1 inch thick. Marinating the chicken in the dressing while you prepare greens and grill the cheese gives this salad extra flavor.

Mix together lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, Greek seasoning, and pepper, then whisk in olive oil to make the dressing.

Marinate chicken in about 2 T of dressing while you wash the greens, cut peppers, and grill the cheese.

I used a mixture of spinach and romaine lettuce for the salad in the photo, but any type of salad greens will work.

I love these sweet little mini-peppers in salads. Cut off the stem end and most of the seeds will pull right out, then slice the peppers into rings.

I cut the cheese in slices not quite 1/2 inch thick. The cheese you see in the finished salad was cut in half again lengthwise after it was grilled.
I brushed both sides of the Halloumi with olive oil to be sure it wouldn't stick to the grill pan. I used my favorite silicone brush for this.

Here's the Halloumi being grilled on the first side. It's hard to see in the photo, but it gets a slightly melty look around the edges which lets you know it's time to turn it over.

Here's the Halloumi after one side has been browned. Of course I couldn't resist turning it 45 degrees to get grill marks, but it's not necessary.

Grilled Halloumi Salad with Rotisserie Chicken, Mini Peppers, and Lemon
(Makes 2 salads with extra dressing, recipe created by Kalyn.)

4-5 cups salad greens
6 mini peppers (or chopped bell pepper)
1 cup diced leftover cooked chicken (or more)
4 slices Halloumi, cut 1/2 inch thick
olive oil, for brushing cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
(This is about twice as much dressing as you need, but it's good to have in the fridge and I hate making tiny amounts of dressing. Cut it in half if you prefer.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp finely minced garlic (or use garlic puree in a jar)
1/4 tsp. Greek seasoning (optional, Greek seasoning has salt, garlic, lemon, oregano, pepper, and marjoram)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
6 T olive oil

Cut chicken into one inch pieces. Stir together lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, Greek seasoning (if using, and pepper, then whisk in olive oil. Put chicken in a small bowl, stir in about 2 T of the dressing, and let chicken marinate while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Wash salad greens and dry or spin dry in salad spinner. Cut stem end off mini-peppers, then pull out seeds and slice in 1/4 inch thick slices.

Cut Halloumi into slices that are not quite 1/2 inch thick. Brush each side of cheese with olive oil. Preheat pan or outdoor grill, then grill cheese about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until well browned. (Actual time will depend on how hot your pan or grill is.)

To assemble salad, toss greens with chicken and mini-peppers, adding additional dressing as desired. Arrange salad on two plates, cut each piece of grilled cheese in half lengthwise and lay over salads.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Halloumi has 8 grams of fat per ounce, so this is probably a "once in a while treat" for the South Beach Diet, but everything here is low on the glycemic index, and Halloumi is a treat that's not to be missed.

Halloumi Inspiration from Other Blogs:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Pan Fried Halloumi with Chilli from Nami Nami
Grilled Halloumi with Red Chili, Basil, Lime Juice and Olive Oil Dressing from Maninas: Food Matters
Grilled Halloumi Salad from Kalofagas
Cous Cous Salad with Halloumi from Mac & Cheese
Warm Salad of Seasoned Grilled Halloumi and Victoria Plums from In My Life
Fried Halloumi Cheese with Lime and Caper Vinaigrette from Cooking the Books
Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers from Vannescipes
Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Lemon from Mango and Lime
Halloumi with Marinated Dried Fruit and Honey from Kopiaste
Grilled Halloumi with Citrus, Fennel, and Parlsey from Figs, Bay, Wine

Want even more Halloumi recipes?
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More to Chew On:


  1. I first fell in love with grilled Halloumi Cheese when I had some at a wonderful outdoor Greek Restaurant on the North Fork of Long Island. One of those places where they always have a pig on a spit outside. They served it simply with wonderful Greek bread and olive oil.

  2. Kalyn, Halloumi has to be one of (if not the best) cheeses to stand up to heat, be it fried or grilled.

    It's not a cheap cheese but it's still worth it.

    Thank you for the link to my halloumi salad, Happy cooking!

  3. I am not a big cheese fan but I too have heard so much about this cheese that I have to try it. Will keep an eye out for it down here.

  4. Where did you find the cheese??

  5. I can see I'm not the only person who loves Halloumi. Maria, I found it at Smiths on 2100 South. That's still the only place I've seen it in Utah.

  6. Halloumi is so versatile you can use it in a thousand ways. I am glad more people are getting to know it and once they try it they are hooked for ever. Thanks for the link to my post.

  7. That salad looks great. I absolutely love Halloumi. And i'm sure you'll loke it even more once you try it grilled.

  8. Fired halloumi is so good! I will have to try it in a salad.

  9. Oh yes this is good cheese. So amazing grilled. Now you've reminded me and I'm craving ;))
    Even good without the chicken I'd guess here.

  10. Another halloumi-fan here! The salad looks so bright and colourful - very, very appealing!

  11. Excellent recipe Kalyn! Oh halloumi, how I love thee! It's especially good stuffed into a chicken breast with basil pesto. Yum!

  12. kaaaalyn! now I'm having a *severe* halloumi craving! I love it best straight out of the frying pan with a big squeeze of lemon juice. soooo gooood!!! It's funny what foodthings are scarce in different parts - halloumi is readily available in Oz, but it's true, it can be a bit expensive. probably a good thing, otherwise I would definitely eat too much of it!

  13. I adore halloumi and this looks yummy. It makes me think it would be good in a pazanella. (Also, thanks for visiting my blog.)

  14. Mmmm, I see there are a lot of Halloumi fans. Pille, I think your blog was one of the first places I learned about it. I agree, this salad would still be great without the chicken. Love the idea of using grilled halloumi pieces in panzanella too!

  15. I am putting Halloumi on my grocery list right now!

  16. I believe I first heard about Halloumi on NPR's Splendid Table, but didn't write down the name. I'm so glad to see it here. This has reminded me to keep an eye out for it in the stores!=)

  17. Your salad looks wonderful. I had Halloumi cheese with Watermelon at a Greek Restaurant and it was great!

    Sharona May

  18. Ten Minutes to DigestMay 13, 2008 at 7:52 PM

    I'm glad there are other people who have little mini parties in the grocery store when they find something new! I can't wait to try this. It's beautiful.

  19. wow Kalyn, this salad has all the elements of spring. It looks delicious. I am curious to try hallumi now :) Is it like paneer?

  20. Mandira, much saltier than paneer, and also firmer. I really can't think of a cheese I've had that was very similar to this. It's actually almost rubbery in texture, but in a good way. So delicious!

  21. Dear Kalyn
    You may think this is a silly question. I am just learning to grill indoors and don't really know how (don't really want to buy the electric indoor grill).

    Did you grill on the stove? What grill pan did you use? Is a cast iron pan good for grilling? Do you have any tips for grilling indoors?

    Many Tks

  22. Hi Kalyn - I love Halloumi and you've done it proud. I've been seeing those mini-peppers in our Co-op lately but haven't indulged yet. Your salad was the inspiration I've been needing.

  23. Jasmine, get one of those grill pans with ridges and you can get grilled results right on top of the stove. I actually have two of the pans. The one in these photos is a Calpahlon (about $40 USD) and has a non-stick surface, which is why I used it for this cheese. I also have a cast iron one that I got for about $12 USD, which is fantastic for meat.

    I think the secret to getting grilled results with a stove-top grill pan is getting the pan very hot before you put the food on. Other than that, it's totally simple.

    BTW, I also have an electric George Foreman Grill which I'm not that fond of. (I hope George does not read my blog!) I use it mainly for bacon, which I don't even cook that often. I much prefer than which just sits on the stovetop.

    Happy grilling!

  24. Of course that's supposed to say "I much prefer the one that sits on the stove." You guys all knew that, right?

  25. Dear Kalyn
    Thank you so much for your reply.
    Could you also advise whether a square or round grill pan is better.

  26. Hi Jasmine,
    This is completely subjective, but I say square (both my pans are square) because it seems to me that so many foods you would cook on a grill have straight edges. To me it just feels like you can fit more food on a square grill pan.

    Any other readers who want to chime in on this, please do. Anyone have a round grill pan that they like for a different reason?

  27. My kind of salad, Kalyn. Chicken and cheese? I'm in for some!

  28. Your salad looks gorgeous, so fresh! Halloumi is a favourite of mine, I love the bouncy texture and it goes so well on the bbq. Lovely blog, by the way.

  29. Ok, I will try Smith's. Thanks for the tip!

  30. Isn't haloumi just the *best*?? It's very popular in South Africa (I usually spend my visits gorging on grilled haloumis salads in every restaurant I visit!) and I was surprised when I first moved to the UK that it was hard to find here, but now it seems that word has spread and it's available in most supermarkets - hurrah!

  31. That's one beautiful salad!

    I've been watching for Halloumi to arrive in my area... I can't wait! It sounds so good!

    Those baby bell peppers are so yummy... I've had them grilled whole, and they're just fantastic that way. I've never tried them raw--I'm sure they're so much sweeter than the big ones!

  32. Hi Kalyn's,
    Love your web site!
    I am desperatly wanting to try this recipe, BUT, can't find Halloumi cheese. I live in Escondido, CA. located half way between LA and San Diego. Please help, if you can.

  33. Catherine, I don't know what to suggest. I couldn't find it for the longest time in Salt Lake, and then one day it appeared in my regular grocery store. You might try asking your store to order it for you. The one I have is Sherherds of Cyprus brand if that helps.

  34. Kalyn, I came across this recipe yesterday and I had a variation of this salad yesterday and today for lunch. So good! I must admit I had a halloumi cheese sitting in my fridge for nearly a year (they have a long shelf life) and finally was inspired to use it! I used sliced chicken that I seasoned with a grill spice mix and lots of paprika before frying, and also fried a red pepper after frying the chicken. I used a low-fat storebought dressing and today I added some leftover roasted broccoli as well. Yum!

    BTW Your blog inspired me to lose weight about 3 years ago by going low carb! I've been a social carber since (= eating carbs mainly when with company, but watching my carb intake when on my own!) While I can't remember whether I've been using one of your recipes before, your blog is the only one that I've been reading on a regular basis.

  35. Sue, congrats on the weight loss! And glad to hear you enjoyed the salad.


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