Grilled halloumi salad

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When Michael, my eldest son, was a toddler he became lactose intolerant for about a year. We cut out yoghurt and most cheeses except for one - goat and sheep’s milk halloumi. He didn’t react at all with this cheese and we used it grated over pasta in place of parmesan cheese. Even though he is no longer lactose intolerant, he grew so fond of this cheese that it’s still one of his favourite pasta toppings.

Halloumi cheese is a traditional Cypriot cheese made from cow’s, goat or sheep’s milk. The cow’s milk cheese has a softer creamier texture, while the goat and sheep’s milk halloumi is a little firmer and stronger tasting. The latter is more popular in the smaller traditional villages on the island and harder to find outside of Cyprus. Whichever one you choose, it’s all delicious. Enjoy as it is, grilled, fried, grated, in baked pastries or on salads. It can even replace breaded croutons in soup (if you’re on a keto or low carb diet).

I’ve used it in the recipe below to create a filling main course salad for 2 (or side for 4). Note that halloumi cheese is stored in a very salty brine and should be rinsed with water to remove some of the salt.

Grilled halloumi salad

Serves 2 - 4

200g / 6 thick slices Cyprus halloumi

100g organic lamb’s lettuce (also called corn salad or mache)

2 small cucumbers, sliced

2 red radishes, thinly sliced

1 tomato, cut into wedges

1 shallot or small red onion, sliced

10 kalamata olives

Sunflower seeds for topping

Dressing:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red grape vinegar

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard (optional)

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

For the salad:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the halloumi slices. Brush with a little extra virgin olive oil then cook in a grill pan on medium-high heat until golden. Set aside while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients.

  2. Arrange the lettuce and remaining vegetables into a large salad bowl or platter. Top with halloumi slices and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Drizzle over the dressing and toss lightly. Serve immediately.

For the dressing:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a small jar with lid. Shake well to combine before using.