Couscous Salad with Grilled Halloumi


Halloumi is a very firm cheese that originated on the island of Cyprus. It is typically made with a combo of sheep and goat milk (or even cow milk), salt and dried mint. Once made, the cheese sits in brine and gets super flavourful and firm. Now when I say that it is a firm cheese, I mean it. This cheese is so firm that you can grill it, pan fry it, do whatever you want to it over a heat source and it will not melt. How magical and delicious!


Servings: 4-6

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time:  30 minutes   |   Cook Time: 10 minutes   |   Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package halloumi cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Couscous:

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, grilled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, grilled and diced

For the Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped

Directions: 

Begin by marinating the halloumi. Slice the halloumi into 1 centimeter thick slices and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and mix to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes while you make the salad.

Add the dry couscous to a large mixing bowl along with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, then quickly cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam inside the bowl and cook the couscous in only 5 minutes! It’s so fast!

While the couscous is steaming, make the dressing. Add the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, basil and mint to a bowl. Mix until it is fully combined. That’s it for the dressing- set it aside for now.

Heat a grill over medium high heat. Once the grill is hot (almost smoking) place the halloumi on the grill, making sure not to move it once you place it down. This will give it some nice grill marks. Let the halloumi cook for 2-3 minutes per side, then flip them over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. The cheese should be soft /a little bendable and have dark grill marks when it is done. If you don’t have a grill or BBQ, you can also fry the halloumi in a pan for the same amount of time. *Note: if you haven’t grilled the bell peppers and zucchini, do it before you grill the halloumi. For a simple guide to grilling these summer veggies, click here.

Remove the plastic wrap from the couscous. Using a fork, use gentle upward-lifting motions to fluff up the couscous (if you stir it, it will be dense and clumpy). Add the chopped grilled vegetables then about half the dressing. Give it a mix using the fork again.

Place the couscous salad on a large serving platter, or in individual bowls, and top with the grilled halloumi cheese. Add the rest of the dressing on top of everything and serve!

You can serve the salad hot, at room temperature or even cold. Either way is delicious!