We think it’s due time that halloumi, the brined Cypriot cheese, got its time in the spotlight. Besides the delightfully squeaky texture (where the cheese curd lovers at?) and the tangy, salty flavor, the high melting point is really what makes this cheese stand out; eaten raw it’s only OK, but when heat is applied, it develops a delicious golden crust.
This salad is one of our favorite ways to enjoy halloumi. It has crunchy fennel (or sub celery if you like), juicy orange segments, creamy avocado, crispy fried pita, and a simple herb-packed dressing that ties it all together. It’s is a full-blown MEAL, perfect for those days when you just can’t bring yourself to turn the oven on.
Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below! In a large bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chickpeas, fennel, and olives to bowl with dressing and toss to combine. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add halloumi and cook until charred and golden on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes total. Remove cheese to a large plate. In the same skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add pita and toast until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove to plate with halloumi. Add arugula, halloumi, and pita to bowl with chickpeas, fennel, and olives and toss to combine. Remove peel and pit from avocado half if necessary and cut crosswise into thin slices. Add orange segments and avocado slices and toss very gently until combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and serve.