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Fried Halloumi and Cherry Salad with Lemon Honey Dressing

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Fried. Cheese. This day just keeps looking up. In a rebound from a very Monday-ish Monday, this fried halloumi and cherry salad is full of good time feels. 

Fresh juicy cherries, crisp kale salad leaves with tender baby spinach, hearty multigrain croutons and nutty pine nuts all waiting for the perfect, briny, savory golden brown cheese. 

fried halloumi cheese and fresh cherries in a salad bowl

All of these good things drizzled in the easiest, most delicious bright and sweet lemon honey dressing.

This salad right here is one of those, repeat until you can’t find more ingredients kind of goodness.

What is halloumi cheese?

Have you had this delicious thing called halloumi? It’s here to bring a ray of salty, briny cheesy light to salad greens.

Don’t get me wrong, I heart vegetables all day every day. But sometimes a salad is unsatisfying because it lacks a little oomph. Well your new friend halloumi is here with both oomph and a some va va voom.

salad bowl stuffed with fried halloumi, kale and fresh cherries

Halloumi is traditionally from the island of Cyprus and made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat milk. It’s brined with a high fat content which gives the cheese a higher melting point. That’s what makes it perfect for frying or grilling.

The texture of halloumi is a little spongy, but in a pleasant way, with a crunchy exterior thanks to your pan frying skills. This sturdy cheese is best when prepared and served alongside other ingredients.

overhead view of fried halloumi over salad

Tips for frying halloumi

Because the cheese is brined, it’s usually packaged in a little liquid. Drain and pat the cheese dry with paper towels.

A well seasoned cast iron is like a life long best friend and a great option for frying up halloumi, you’ll just need a touch of olive oil. If you opt for a non stick pan, you can skip the addition of oil to the pan.

halloumi cheese frying in a cast iron skillet

Fry until golden brown on each side. Depending on the pan this will take about 2 to 4 minutes. Just check the color before flipping.

Use a pair of tongs to flip the cheese and fry on the other side.

kale and spinach with cherries and fried halloumi in a bowl

Making the cherry salad with lemon honey dressing

you guys. THIS SALAD IS EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. Here’s why this is a winner for all parties involved:

It’s got both kale and baby spinach to satisfy the kale salad lovers and the skeptics. 

If you’ve been here before you’ve know all my favorite tips for making kale more attractive to the skeptics, but here’s a quick review:

  • remove the stem, it’s bitter and tough
  • chop the lettuces and soak in cold water (this softens the leaves!)
  • to further soften the kale leaves, toss with the dressing while preparing the rest of the salad ingredients

Fresh, juicy cherries are in the peak of season right now and are like little sphere kisses from Mother Nature. If I may, I’d highly recommend investing in a cherry pitter. It’ll save you from looking like you were soaking your finger tips in blood.

Can we talk about croutons for a hot second? They’re the thing you usually don’t need to add to a salad, but once they’re there you’re super happy about it. Kind of like when you go over for a play date and there’s wine….wait, is that just me? Hmm, any ways, croutons are good especially when they’re easy.

drizzling dressing on a salad

If you want to be the king of croutons, go the extra mile and whip up this honey wheat brown bread to make your croutons from. It’s like that brown bread from the cheesecake factory and so so so delicious. Tender and sweet. But if time isn’t on your side or bread making is out of your range then a nice hearty multigrain bread is easy and perfect for quick toasted croutons.

The Lemon Honey Dressing is so good I’m looking for ever excuse to put it on anything and best of all, it is the easiest to make. No really, it’s easy to find, simple ingredients that are just a shake away from being done.

Fried halloumi and cherry salad is perfect for all the occasions….brunch, picnic, lunch, dinner, meal starter….you really can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for more salads like this, you will love these!

For more fabulous cherry recipes, check these out:

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fried halloumi cheese and fresh cherries in a salad bowl

Fried Halloumi and Cherry Salad with Lemon Honey Dressing


  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

Bring on cherry season!  Fresh juicy cherries are the perfect pop of sweet to pair with tangy, savory fried halloumi with crunchy multigrain croutons and sweet lemon honey dressing.


Ingredients

Scale

For the salad:

  • 4 cups chopped lacinato kale (about 1 small head)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 5 thick sliced multigrain bread, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 8-ounce package Halloumi cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Prepare the lettuces:  Remove the leaves of the kale from the stem and chop into bite sized pieces.  Soak in cold water for about 5 minutes, then drain and dry well using either a salad spinner or clean kitchen towel.  In a large bowl combine the kale and baby spinach.
  2. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 375°F.  This step can also be done in a toaster oven, in which case you do not need to preheat the toaster oven.  Toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt.  Spread into a single layer on a sheet pan.  Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring about half way.
  3. Prep the cherries:  Remove the stems and pits from the cherries.  Slice each cherry in half and set aside.
  4. Fry the cheese:  Slice the halloumi into 8 to 10 rectangular slices. Heat a medium size, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Fry the cheese until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes.
  5. Make the dressing:  In a mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients.  Cover and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds to combine.
  6. Prepare the salad:  Drizzle the salad with the lemon honey dressing and toss well to combine.  Sprinkle the croutons and halved cherries over the leaves.  Top the salad with fried halloumi pieces and a sprinkle of pine nuts over the top.
  • Category: salads
  • Method: toss
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: how to fry halloumi cheese, halloumi cheese recipes, salads with halloumi cheese

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Recipe rating

Natalie

Monday 12th of August 2019

Oh wow, this salad sounds and looks wonderful. I absolutely love all the flavors and that vinaigrette sounds like a winner. I will definitely give this salad a try. I have all the ingredients.

Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life

Sunday 11th of August 2019

I've never heard of halloumi before, but the rest of the flavors (like the cherries and the sweet honey lemon dressing) sound absolutely amazing!

Sophie

Sunday 11th of August 2019

Fried halloumi, crisp greens and lemony dressing - sounds like divine. This is a must try.

Neha

Sunday 11th of August 2019

You had me at lemon honey dressing! I love sweet and sour dressings in my salads and yours look so good and flavorsome, totally trying it out!

Jenni LeBaron

Sunday 11th of August 2019

This salad is just all kinds of pretty! We love halloumi for nights when we want to skip the meat but still benefit from a hearty and flavorful protein-packed meal. Can't wait to give this salad a try!