Field Green Salad topped with Fried Halloumi and Za’atar Vinaigrette

Mixed salad greens with fried halloumi, nuts, seeds & a Za'atar vinaigrette.

Mixed salad greens with fried halloumi, nuts, seeds & a Za’atar vinaigrette.

Digging through my fridge one day I discovered that I had a package of halloumi cheese underneath some cheddar in the door of the fridge. I was absolutely starving and it was lunch time. I fried up a little in a dry pan, put the pieces on crackers and had a thoroughly satisfying, if unbalanced lunch. A girl can’t live on cheese and crackers alone, without getting really fat and constipated, so later in the week I made myself a very healthy lunch while still satisfying my recurring craving for halloumi cheese.

If you are not familiar with halloumi, it is a semi-firm, unripened sheep’s milk cheese. It doesn’t melt like regular cheese and it is quite salty. I’m told it can be grilled but I’ve never tried that but I fry it often.

I used another ingredient is relatively new to me, Za’atar. It is a Middle Eastern blend of herbs that include oregano, thyme and sumac. It has a very familiar scent because it includes many common herbs but the addition of the sumac and sesame seeds adds a richness and the slightest hint of the exotic. I like to try new things but I’m kind of a chicken shit when it comes to spice so this blend that I found at Zehrs (my local grocery store) was perfect for me to try since it did not have hot spices in it. The Za’atar that I bought is part of the President’s Choice brand special Black Label line and on a leisurely trip to the grocery store I lingered in the spice section and picked up Za’atar and Sumac. I had seen Nigella Lawson use both of those on one of her shows and since she is my idol I had to have it.

For my salad I used a mix of cashews, sliced almonds, and seeds. Use whatever you have in whatever ratio you prefer. I do recommend buying the unsalted cashews though because those salted ones are just too easy to devour by the handful.

I prefer quite a tart vinaigrette. If you like your salad dressings a little less sharp, either reduce the vinegar slightly or add more oil. The vinaigrette will keep for a week or so in the fridge so you can make this salad for one like I did or serve it as a meal for four as described in the recipe.

I am dedicating this post and the one that will follow to my parents. Over the past 6 months or so, they have collectively lost over 75 pounds. I am very proud of them and I want to thank them for working so hard to be healthy.  We want you both to be around for a very long time. I know that we are not always the most demonstrably affectionate family — I love you guys. Xoxo

Yields 4

Field Green Salad topped with Fried Halloumi and Za'atar Vinaigrette

Mixed green salad topped with fried halloumi, mixed nuts and seeds and a Za'atar vinaigrette. A very satisfying salad that is large enough for a meal. Fry only a few pieces of halloumi and save the vinaigrette for later and it is a perfect meal for one.

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 140 g (5 oz) mixed salad greens (approximately one package)
  • 8-12 1/2 centimetre slices of halloumi
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Za'atar herb blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp local honey
  • pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup mixture of sliced almonds, unsalted cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds (whatever ratio you prefer).

Instructions

  1. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, or a similar bowl, mix the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, Za'atar, salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk in the mustard with a small whisk, until thoroughly blended with the liquid. Slowly add the oil while whisking constantly until all the vinaigrette is completely emulsified.
  3. Set the vinaigrette aside and heat a medium non-stick frying pan to a medium-high heat.
  4. Slice the halloumi in 1/2 cm thick slices. When the pan is hot, fry the halloumi in batches. Fry it for 30-45 seconds per side or until each side gets a golden crust and comes away easily from the pan. How long you need to fry it per side will depend on how hot you let your pan get.
  5. Divide the salad greens on four plates and place 2 or 3 slices of halloumi on top of the greens. Sprinkle the nuts and seeds over each plate and then drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette over each plate, about 2-3 tablespoons. Some people like more vinaigrette than others. Any extra vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for a week or so.
Recipe Type: Salad
7.6.4
75
http://strawberriesforsupper.com/field-green-salad-topped-with-fried-halloumi-and-zaatar-vinaigrette/

 

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Comments

  1. Pat Elliott says

    Thanks for the dedication. That is very sweet. We hope to be around for quite some time. Lots of love. Mom and Dad.
  2. says

    I just tried Za'atar for the first time last week at our favorite little Syrian restaurant and loved it. And grilled halloumi on a salad with vinaigrette is one of my favorites. So basically, you've just posted my ideal salad. Thanks, Christina!
    • Christina says

      Za'atar and Sumac seem to be part of the foodie zeitgeist right now. I've been seeing it everywhere lately. I love how versatile it is. It is yet another case of 'Great minds think alike' :)

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