Chopped Halloumi Salad with a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Halloumi is hands down my favorite cheese and I have London to thank for that!  Prior to living in London I was completely unaware of this popular Cyprus cheese known for its salty flavor and fabulous ability to be grilled or fried.  Cooking halloumi is the ultimate way to enjoy this cheese, as pre-cooked halloumi doesn’t have much flavor.  The heat allows its true character to be revealed with the most delicious flavors and gorgeous texture.

Halloumi goes great on sandwiches, in salads, and on kebabs.  I absolutely adore the flavor of cooked halloumi with fresh vegetables and therefore created this simple recipe with common ingredients I had on hand.  I have not tried buying halloumi in America yet but I am pretty sure you can find it at whole foods or any specialty cheese shop.

Chopped Halloumi Salad with a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

makes 4 servings

1 (250 gram) package of light halloumi cheese

2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning (may use dried oregano, parsley, etc)

cooking spray

3 bell peppers, chopped

1 small cucumber or 1/2 large cucumber, chopped

1 small red onion, sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (mint or parsley would work nice too)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and pepper to taste

Unwrap the cheese and pat it dry with a paper towel.  Using a sharp knife, slice the block of cheese into 8-12 slices and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Heat a large skillet misted with cooking spray to medium-high heat. Place the halloumi slices in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown.  (May need to divide halloumi into multiple batched depending on the size of your pan.)

Cut or tear the halloumi slices into bit size pieces and mix with bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, and cilantro.  Whisk together Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Toss vinaigrette with chopped salad and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 242 calories, 14 g total fat, 4 g fiber, 17 g protein

BALANCE IT OUT: This salad makes a really amazing snack with fresh vegetables and protein to keep you satisfied until your next meal.  Pair this salad with a sandwich or soup for a delicious colorful meal.  Or you can create a healthy mediterranean platter by serving this salad with whole grain pita bread and hummus.



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