#RestaurantInspired is a new segment on the blog where I’ll be recreating some of my favorite dishes that I’ve had at the cafes and restaurants I frequent. One of those meals is the grilled Halloumi salad from Artcaffe.
I’ve had this salad at different Artcaffe outlets and I noticed that sometimes their ingredients vary from branch to branch. Some have roasted mushrooms, butternut, eggplant, sundried tomatoes etc. So feel free to go wild with your creations. I make this salad quite often simply because you can never go wrong with roasted vegetables if you’re looking for a quick dinner meal. I live for 30 minute meals on weekdays when I’m spent and looking to spend minimal time in the kitchen and still have something delicious and healthy.
You can serve the roasted vegetables as a side or add a protein and it’s a main meal. For this recipe, you can sub the Halloumi cheese with some grilled chicken and it works perfectly. Halloumi cheese has a high melting point so it holds shape when grilled or lightly fried on a skillet. Simply, cut the cheese into 1/4 inch slabs, grill until browned on each side about 2-3 minutes. It should be soft in the middle. Serve immediately. It tastes better warm.
I never skip on dressing when making any of my salads whether it’s a honey mustard or the classic vinaigrette like the one I used in this recipe. When making the components of this salad, I was going for crunch from the lettuce, texture from the nuts, freshness from the juicy tomatoes, aromatics from some herbs in this case the freshly chopped basil at the end. You can also use spinach, arugula or mixed lettuce as the base for your salad
The onions take longer to roast in comparison to the other vegetables that’s why in the final recipe below, I gave them a head-start before adding other vegetables. Previously, I mixed all the vegetables in the bowl and roasted them together and didn’t really quite like the cook on the onions. Here’s a gallery of some of the different times I’ve enjoyed this meal.
- Bell Pepper Medley (red,yellow and green)
- 2 Courgettes (used both yellow and green)
- 2 Eggplants
- 1 Large onion
- Fresh Basil
- 1 tbsp Mixed dried herbs (Oregano, Basil, Thyme)
- 1/4 tsp Chilli flakes (I love chilli, you can take it down a notch)
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Halloumi Cheese
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Nuts (chopped up some cashews and almonds)
- To make the dressing
- Add 2 Tbsp olive oil in a jar
- Add a pinch of black pepper and salt
- 1 clove of roasted garlic, mashed
- 3/4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (you can use lemon juice)
- Give it a shake before drizzling the dressing onto the salad
- Preheat oven at 200°
- Dice your onion into quarters drizzle some olive oil and salt add onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.
- Chop up your remaining vegetables - averagely the same size for even cooking.
- Add your olive oil, spices, salt and toss to coat evenly.
- Add your vegetables onto the tray with the roasted onion and cook them for 25 minutes. I never pile on the veggies for even cooking.
- In a serving bowl, roughly chop up your lettuce, arugula or spinach.
- Quarter your cherry tomatoes
- Add them into the bowl.
- Top with your roasted vegetables
- Drizzle the dressing
- Chop up some fresh basil and add
- Toss your salad and set aside as you grill the halloumi.
- For the halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4 inch thick slabs.
- Heat up your cast iron griddle pan. Grill the Halloumi Cheese for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. It should be crispy on the outside and soft inside.
- Alternatively you can lightly grease your skillet with some olive oil and cook each piece of Halloumi for 2-3 minutes as well.
- Add to your salad while still warm.
- Finish it off with some nuts.