Halloumi is a great addition to any salad, giving it the pop it sometimes needs to turn it into a main rather than a side. The credit for this idea must go to Ella who kept sending images of the delicious dinners she was cooking in London. Being inspired, this halloumi, freekeh and lentil salad was born.The base of this salad is freekeh, and that is simply because there was a half empty packet sitting on the pantry shelves, and this salad was the perfect way to use it up. You could also use buckwheat, quinoa, couscous, or any other grain that takes your fancy. The lentils, fresh salad vegetables and chopped roasted almonds, add the crunch that it needs to keep it interesting.
As for the halloumi, choose a good quality one. I have found the ones from Cyprus are the best. It might cost a little more but it is worth the extra when it comes to flavour. Also, I don’t make a salad dressing but rather use a light pouring of extra virgin olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Halloumi loves lemon juice too, so make sure you serve this salad with lemon wedges.
Having been inspired to make this salad, we have eaten it multiple times in quick succession, and have loved it every time. I’m positive you will too. Enjoy!
- 150 grams freekeh,
- 1 x 400g tin lentils, drained
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, chopped into cubes
- 200 grams cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 80 grams dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- handful of mint, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- extra virgin olive oil
- 500g halloumi, sliced
- lemon quarters, to serve
- Cook the freekeh according to the instructions on the packet. Rinse and leave to cool.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the freekeh, lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, spinach leaves and almonds.
- Finely chop the leaves of the mint and add to the bowl.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon and a light pouring of olive oil over the top. Gently toss the salad.
- In a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil. Lightly fry the slices of halloumi until lightly browned on each side.
- Place salad on individual plates, top with a couple of slices of fried halloumi.
- Serve with lemon quarters.