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Grilled Halloumi and Quinoa Salad


Traditional to Cyprus, halloumi is a briny, squeaky sheep and/or goat's milk cheese. A high melting point makes it ideal for grilling or frying, which miraculously transforms it into a distinctive, golden-crusted cheese with a milky soft center. However, the cheese usually be found at Whole Foods, as well as Mediterranean markets and through igourmet (and, rumor has it, Trader Joe's, though I haven't checked).

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Grilled Halloumi and Quinoa Salad 1 Picture


  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Persian cucumber or 1/2 regular cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 cups lettuce leaves, arugula, or other salad greens
  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices



Step 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add cucumber and scallion and toss to combine. Cover and let stand.

Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Add cooled quinoa, parsley, mint, and lettuce to the bowl and toss to coat.

Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat (no oil) and grill the halloumi until golden, about two minutes on each side. (Cheese can also be grilled in a panini press.) When done, squeeze a little lemon juice over the cheese.

Arrange quinoa salad on two plates and top with the halloumi and cucumbers (without liquid).

Can make up to a day ahead and refrigerate. For best texture, add the lettuce and grill the halloumi just before serving.


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