Grilled Peach And Halloumi Salad

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Have you ever thought of making a Grilled Peach And Halloumi Salad? I have and it was amazing. I did a few minor tweaks, but the concept is original. This is perfect for game day, pool parties or just a summer picnic in your backyard. It feels like summer here in the northern hemisphere, and that means the best fruit is in season! What better way to make sure you’re getting your 5 a day than with this grilled peach and halloumi salad.

PEACH AND HALLOUMI SALAD

This Arugula Peach and Halloumi Salad is the summer salad I just can’t get enough of! Tossed with pecans, onions and fresh mint and topped with a lemon vinaigrette, I have no doubts you will love this salad too!

August is here so I feel like that gives me permission to post peach recipes for the rest of summer. Any objections?! Didn’t think so! 

I typically keep my meals super simple in the summer. I’m not sure if it’s the flavorful summer produce or our typical busy schedule (not so much this year) but I find myself craving salads galore. 

I’ve made this Peach and Halloumi Salad about 15 times in the last month, because it’s so easy and delicious! C and I will have it for dinner with leftovers the next day for lunch. And then I basically repeat this several times a week. It’s just the perfect combo of flavors and textures, while also getting in your greens.

Halloumi and I have been having a moment and especially when I give it a little pan-fry in the cast-iron skillet. With a sprinkling of toasted pecans, thinly sliced onions and juicy peaches, this salad just might become a staple in your kitchen too.

Here’s What You Need:

  • baby arugula – a zesty green for the base of the salad. Feel free to swap for a different green if you don’t have arugula!
  • peaches – time to use those fresh, juicy peaches!
  • red onion – a savory flavor accompaniment. 
  • pecans – I love the slightly sweet flavor pecans bring to this salad but feel free to use any type of nut. 
  • halloumi – new to halloumi? Read more below! 
  • fresh mint – this fresh herb really makes the flavors in this salad pop!
  • simple vinaigrette – a delicious combination of olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and maple syrup. 

What is halloumi?

If you’ve never tried halloumi before, you’re missing out. It’s cheese made from goat or sheep’s milk or a mixture of the two. It holds its shape when heated so is perfect for grilling or lightly browning (which is what we do in this recipe!). It might be the only cheese that is recommended to heat rather than eat raw. Think about eating a marshmallow – sure it’s fine raw but when you roast it, it’s perfectly crispy on the outside and melted on the inside… that is what halloumi is like! It is a good source of protein, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A and B. 

How to Make This Peach Salad

STEP 1: Combine all of the salad ingredients except the halloumi. 

STEP 2: Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. 

STEP 3: When the oil is warm but not sizzling, add the halloumi and cook each side for 2-3 minutes. The goal is crispy, brown cheese but not burnt cheese. 

STEP 4: Combine all of the dressing ingredients and top the salad with your desired amount of dressing. 

STEP 5: Divide evenly and top with fried halloumi.

ARUGULA PEACH AND HALLOUMI SALAD

This Arugula Peach and Halloumi Salad is the summer salad I just can’t get enough of! Tossed with pecans, onions and fresh mint and topped with a lemon vinaigrette, I have no doubts you will love this salad too!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

INGREDIENTS

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  • 1/2 lb baby arugula
  • 2 large peaches
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 grams halloumi (I like Pittas), sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all salad ingredients (with the exception of the halloumi)
  2. Grease a cast-iron skillet with olive oil over med-high heat. The oil should be hot, but not sizzling.
  3. Add your halloumi and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. It will sizzle when you add it to the pan. You want it to brown, but not burn.
  4. Combine all dressing ingredients.
  5. Top salad with desired dressing.
  6. Divide salad evenly and top each bowl with desired halloumi

GRILLED HALLOUMI PEACH AND TOMATO SALAD

Use summer market produce in this heirloom tomato salad with grilled peaches, grilled halloumi cheese and crisp (gluten-free) croutons. This delicious tomato salad is topped with fresh basil and a simple balsamic dressing. This recipe includes tips for how to grill halloumi, a tasty Middle Eastern or Greek cheese. Ready in 30 minutes!

Don’t let go of summer before making this grilled halloumi, peach and tomato salad!

❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • It’s a perfect summer side. This summer peach and tomato salad makes a perfect side salad when you’re grilling meat for dinner.
  • Easy to grill. Add sliced fresh peaches, sliced halloumi and crusty bread to your grill, and arrange with a few fresh greens and sun-ripened tomatoes. Drizzle with fruity olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’ll have a beautiful peach and tomato salad, Panzanella-style, to go with your dinner. Couldn’t be easier!
  • A winning combo! You might be skeptical about pairing peaches with tomatoes, but this combo really works. Ripe summer tomatoes are naturally sweet. Combining juicy grilled peaches, sweet tomatoes and salty cheese makes an unforgettable summertime treat!

I’m always overloaded with garden tomatoes in the summer, but I’m not complaining!

WHAT IS HALLOUMI?

Halloumi is a Middle Eastern or Greek cheese, originally from Cyprus. You can find it in large supermarkets or gourmet grocery stores. It’s mild like mozzarella, salty, but not as salty as feta.

It’s delicious when grilled and only takes a few minutes on each side to warm and develop crispy edges.

🛒 INGREDIENTS

Let’s make this grilled peach and tomato salad today. It’s delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need.

Peaches: one or two. Try to find a freestone variety to make slicing easier. There is no need to peel them. In fact, they hold their shape better on the grill if you leave the skins on. No peaches? Substitute nectarines.

Tomatoes: your choice. I used a combination of heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Vine-ripened, sun-warmed, juicy tomatoes have SO much flavour.

Halloumi cheese: You’ll slice this Mediterranean cheese and marinate it in a mixture of lemon, garlic and oregano. A small amount adds a lot of flavour to your salad!

Croutons: To keep this salad gluten-free, brush cubes of gluten-free bread with olive oil and grilled it alongside the peaches. If you don’t need this salad to be gluten-free, choose a rustic crusty bread like ciabatta.

fresh seasonal greens: form the base for this healthy salad.

Garnish and dressing: fresh basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

🔪 STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine lemon juice, minced garlic and fresh or dried oregano in a small bowl.
  2. Slice the halloumi into slabs about ⅓ to ½ inch thick. Don’t unfold the cheese first. Cover the cheese with the lemon juice mixture and let stand to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Slice the tomatoes and drain on a paper towel.
  4. Arrange a few fresh seasonal greens in the bottom of a shallow serving bowl.
  5. Time to grill! You can use either your outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan like this stove-top grill. Once the grill has been pre-heated and well-oiled, add the peach slices and bread cubes. Brush them both with a little olive oil first to prevent sticking. Don’t turn the peaches until you can see that the undersides have grill marks. Then you’ll know that they won’t stick.
  6. Halloumi cheese is best when it is hot off the grill. If you let it sit too long, or if you overcook it, it will be tough, stringy and rubbery. Wait until the peaches and croutons are done, then remove them from the grill and add the marinated halloumi cheese slices.
  7. They will only take two minutes on each side to develop perfect grill marks.
  8. Time to put it all together! While the cheese slices are cooking, arrange the tomatoes, peaches and croutons on the greens in a large bowl or platter. Tuck the grilled halloumi slices in among the peaches, and add fresh basil leaves.
  9. Add dressing. Drizzle with a simple balsamic dressing and serve right away.

🔁 POSSIBLE VARIATIONS–LOTS OF CHOICES!

  • Make this heirloom tomato salad with the ingredients that are available to you. You could easily substitute nectarines or even plums for peaches, for example.
  • Add a little torn prosciutto or crisp bacon. The halloumi cheese is salty, so limit the amount of prosciutto you add.
  • If you can’t find halloumi where you live, you could use fresh mozzarella instead. Slice or tear it and add to the salad with a little sprinkle of salt, as it’s very mild. You can also substitute crumbled feta cheese.

❓COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT GRILLED HALLOUMI SALAD

How do you prevent halloumi from being rubbery?

The first time I cooked halloumi I overcooked it and decided that I didn’t like it. However, since learning how to cook it properly, I’m now a convert. Here are my tips:

Don’t cut it into thin slices. Leave the slices about ⅓ to ½ inch thick.

Don’t expect it to melt. Halloumi cheese doesn’t melt because of its three-dimensional milk proteins that don’t stretch like many other varieties of cheese.

Once it’s cooked (you can pan fry it, too) it becomes amazingly soft and squishy inside (and it squeaks on your teeth.)

Halloumi only needs a couple of minutes on each side to develop beautiful grill marks, to become a little crispy, but still deliciously warm and soft inside.

How do you grill peaches?

Grilling peaches makes them smoky and addictively sweet. They’re an ideal addition to this Grilled Halloumi Peach and Tomato Salad.

Slice a peach in half, starting and ending at the stem end. Twist the halves to release them from the pit. Slice the halves into 3 or 4 slices, depending on the size of the peach. Brush with a little olive oil, place on the grill, wait until you can see grill marks forming on the underside, then turn and grill on the other side.

GRILLED HALLOUMI + PEACHES WITH ARUGULA, JALAPEÑOS AND A HONEY LEMON VINAIGRETTE

Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapeños and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette is a simple summer meal that’s fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious! Salty Halloumi cheese turns crispy and melty on the grill, making it a perfect pair for the jammy, sweet charred peaches.  A hefty mound of arugula, spicy jalapeños and a sweet and tangy honey lemon vinaigrette bring it all together for an awesome gluten free, vegetarian salad that’s great for dinner, lunch or even brunch! 

I know I have a good recipe when my mouth won’t stop watering as I edit the photos. I’ve been making grilled Halloumi + peaches all summer long, and it’s about time I shared it with you.

WHAT IS HALLOUMI?

Halloumi is a Greek sheep’s milk cheese that comes from the island of Cyprus and I’ve been pretty obsessed with it ever since our trip to Greece last summer. It has a salty, milky flavor and a firm texture that is known for squeaking between your teeth in the most delightful way. Halloumi has the unique ability to be grilled or pan fried while still holding its shape and not turning to goo or melting between the grates. It gets crispy on the edges, but stays soft in the middle and takes on a wonderful toasty flavor. It’s really fun to eat!

WHERE CAN YOU BUY HALLOUMI?

Halloumi can be tough to find depending on where you live and the time of year. None of my local supermarkets carry it, so I often stock up whenever I can track it down. Trader Joes carries it, but you can only find it in the summertime – which I learned the hard way. It’s available at Whole Foods, as well as many cheese shops and other specialty markets. I’ve heard that Aldi sometimes carries it, although I’ve never seen it there myself.

WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR HALLOUMI?

If you can’t find Halloumi, there are some other cheeses that will work in this recipe. Bread cheese is a well known grilling cheese, Queso Panela grills up well, as does Queso Fresco and Paneer. If you have any specialty European markets in your area, stop in to see if they carry something similar to Halloumi. There are many small European and Mediterranean countries that produce their own version of a grilling cheese. For anyone that lives locally in my area, the Brigantine Freshery carries a Turkish cheese called “gill cheese” that works wonderfully in this recipe. It’s a delicious cheese and the shop owners are lovely people!

USE THE BEST PEACHES

Like so many seasonal dishes, this recipe works best when you use flavorful, in-season peaches that have a nice balance of sweetness and tang. Here in New Jersey, peaches are in season from about June to September, depending on the year, so this is definitely a summer recipe. I’ve made it with both white peaches and yellow peaches and it’s delicious with both. You can also substitute nectarines or even apricots if they look better at the market.

HOW TO GRILL PEACHES

They key to successfully grilling peaches is to make sure the grill grates are clean and well oiled. If the grill grates aren’t well oiled, the peaches will stick and you won’t achieve that beautiful charred crust. It’s also important to toss the peaches with olive oil before grilling for extra non-stick insurance. You want the grill to be at a solid medium-high heat to give the peaches nice char without overcooking them. I also always grill peaches with the lid open so that they retain a semi-firm texture. If you close the grill and let them cook more they will turn soft and mushy.

HOW TO GRILL HALLOUMI

The key to grilling halloumi is also having the grill grates well oiled and coating the cheese with oil before grilling, just like with the peaches. You can let it get as much or as little char as you like. Personally, I like it when it gets extra crispy on the outside.

SERVE WITH A SWEET + SPICY ARUGULA SALAD

The arugula and jalapeños tossed with a honey lemon vinaigrette is inspired by the arugula salad at Steve and Cookie’s, one of my favorite local restaurants. The hint of spice with the sweet dressing and peppery arugula makes the perfect base for the crispy Halloumi and charred peaches. It’s SO good!

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