July 18, 2016

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad! This vibrant salad is perfect for summer. Fresh produce, grilled halloumi cheese, quinoa, pecans and a balsamic vinegar. Vegetarian & Gluten-free. Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad! This vibrant salad is perfect for summer. Fresh produce, grilled halloumi cheese, quinoa, pecans and a balsamic vinegar. Vegetarian & Gluten-free | www.delishknowledge.com

This is what evolution looks like:

This salad started off as grilled peaches and halloumi kebobs with basil-oil dressing. Until most of the halloumi fell off the kebobs into the grill…

Then, the basil oil got tossed with day-old bread cubes and made into basil croutons! And eaten with tons of peaches, lettuce and leftover grilled halloumi. Similar to panzanella, but not quite.

So, I added some quinoa. Because, it’s 2016 and my motto tends to be “put some quinoa on it”.

Then, I was too lazy to do anything but slice a few peaches and fry up some cheese, which turned out to be my favorite version of this meal: baby kale, cherries, peaches, grilled halloumi and a touch of balsamic vinegar.

The moral of the story, of course, is that there are endless ways to enjoy these flavor combos. Juicy peaches, tart cherries, salty, hot cheese, fresh greens and a touch of basil and balsamic. You really can’t go wrong, whichever version you choose.

It’s almost like a choose your own adventure book- you get to decide what you are feeling. Want more heft? Go with both the quinoa and basil crouton option. Want a meal that’s ready in 9 minutes flat? Choose the simple salad in option 4. It’s have it your way for the health-conscious crowd.

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad! This vibrant salad is perfect for summer. Fresh produce, grilled halloumi cheese, quinoa, pecans and a balsamic vinegar. Vegetarian & Gluten-free | www.delishknowledge.com

I’ve included a basic outline for this recipe, but feel free to mix and match however you see fit. The non-negotiables are the peaches, cherries, halloumi and either basil oil or balsamic vinegar. Or, more simply put, the peaches and the halloumi. They are a match made in heaven, and one I will continue to pair all season long.

When we were in North Carolina a few weeks ago, I was in peach overdrive. We stopped at a small farmer’s market off 158 on the way into town ( my family’s been stopping at Grandy’s Greenhouse before vacation for as along as I can remember) to pick up a few bushels of tree-ripened peaches.

Gah. There is nothing like a juicy, sweet summer peach. Nothing. I would happily forgo peaches all year long for just a bite or two of those peaches. The best. I hope you find something similar for this kind of salad, because like most produce-heavy dishes, it makes it.

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad! This vibrant salad is perfect for summer. Fresh produce, grilled halloumi cheese, quinoa, pecans and a balsamic vinegar. Vegetarian & Gluten-free | www.delishknowledge.com

After I ate all that I could at the beach (at least 3-4 a day), I took the rest home with me to Virginia for my family to indulge in life’s little pleasures. The only thing that tops those fresh peaches is watching my three year old niece’s eyes light up when she took her first bite. Yes, sweet child, you know.

So, peaches on the brain, I came back to St. Louis ready to cook! Halloumi is one of those foods that I really do love, but often forget that it’s there. After seeing it on display at Whole Food’s last week, I grabbed a package and set off to make countless versions of this dish.

If you haven’t had halloumi before, it’s like if mozzerella and feta cheese had a baby. Similar in texture and strength to fresh mozzerella, with the tang and saltiness of feta cheese. And- you get to fry it! It’s OK without being fried, but don’t skip that step. Heating the cheese creates the most incredible crust with a soft, stretchy middle. Yum.

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad! This vibrant salad is perfect for summer. Fresh produce, grilled halloumi cheese, quinoa, pecans and a balsamic vinegar. Vegetarian & Gluten-free | www.delishknowledge.com

So, to recap. The meal must include the peaches, halloumi and preferably cherries and some type of dressing. After that, the rest is up to you. I’ve included a few options in the hodge-podge recipe below, but go with what sounds best to you in the moment.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Print

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: salad, vegetarian, glutenfree, healthy, lunch

Description

Peach, Cherry and Halloumi Salad! This vibrant salad is perfect for summer. Fresh produce, grilled halloumi cheese, quinoa, pecans and a balsamic vinegar. Vegetarian & Gluten-free.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: salad, vegetarian, glutenfree, healthy, lunch
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: salad, vegetarian, glutenfree, healthy, lunch
Scale

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces sliced halloumi cheese
  • 6 cups torn lettuce (I used baby kale, but any salad green will work)
  • 2 large peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved cherries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
  • Basil Croutons: (optional)
  • 1/4 cup basil oil (see notes)
  • 1 cup day-old bread cubes (stale cubes absorb the oil better)
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt/pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, if making the basil croutons
  2. Prep the vegetable ingredients for the salad. If you are using quinoa, make it now so it’s slightly cool by the time the salad is done. (Use a 1:2 ratio for quinoa to water)
  3. If making the basil croutons, toss bread cubes with basil oil until well coated. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven until golden brown. Remove and let cool.
  4. For the halloumi, heat a medium pan or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the sliced halloumi to the pan and cook for ~2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. To assemble the salad, toss together the torn lettuce, peaches, cherries, pecans, cooked quinoa and croutons, if using.
  8. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss together with the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Plate the salad, and add the sliced halloumi on top. Serve immediately.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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  1. This is by far the best salad I have eaten to date. Highly recommend it. When I move Africa and can’t find Halloumi cheese, I will put in Mozzarella and feta. Will miss the grilled part but it might be OK.

  2. Haha, I like that there are so many possible combinations here! Good thing too, since this looks addictive and I know I’m gonna want to make it more than once! Pinned!

  3. I’ve always enjoyed a fruity-savory salad combo. This one looks spectacular! I’m especially interested int he cherries. Still waiting for ripe organic ones, and July is half over! If we don’t see any this week, I imagine we’ll be out of luck for 2016.