A cool tomato cucumber salad meets warm, fried halloumi cheese.
Summer salads rejoice! This recipe for warm, pan-fried halloumi cheese salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs combines salty and fresh, warm and cold, for an easy, truly delicious side.
Tomato cucumber salad recipes always taste good. Something about the cool crunch of fresh cucumbers and the sweet juiciness of ripe summer tomatoes makes a perfect flavor combination.
But this tomato cucumber fried halloumi salad recipe goes one step further. It layers fresh herbs, a little citrus, and warm, salty pan-fried halloumi cheese for a dynamic dish that layers temperatures, flavors, and textures all at once.
The result is an easy summer salad that is an absolute must-eat.
What Is Halloumi Cheese?
Halloumi is a fresh, firm but springy cheese. Halloumi can be made from cow, milk, or sheep’s milk. Halloumi originated in Cyprus, a small, independent island state in the Mediterranean. Cyprus is closest to Greece in culture, but geographically closest to Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria.
Halloumi is a salty cheese that is especially known for its high smoke point. It’s dense texture and high smoke point mean that it can be grilled or fried without melting.
How to Pan Fry Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi cheese is forgiving when cooked — to a point. This tomato cucumber salad with halloumi uses a pan-fry method to cook the cheese. To get a perfect golden-brown crust on your halloumi slices, make sure you follow these tips:
- Let the halloumi drain on paper towels for a few minutes and pat the cheese slices very dry. Absorbing the moisture before cooking will prevent spatter when the cheese fries in the oil.
- Cook the halloumi on medium-low, as you would a grilled cheese sandwich. If the temperature is too hot, the cheese will scorch and the inside will not become as tender as it otherwise could.
- Use enough oil to lightly coat the skillet. No more or less is necessary.
Tomato Cucumber Fried Halloumi Salad: Recipe Notes
This tomato cucumber halloumi salad tastes incredibly fresh, and comes together effortlessly.
- The halloumi cheese does cook quickly, so I recommend mixing the salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, seasoning), then frying the cheese and adding that last before a final toss and serve.
- Cooking and adding the halloumi last ensures that the cheese will still be warm against the cool tomatoes and cucumbers. This difference in temperatures creates a more dynamic salad.
- This recipe calls for fresh mint, parsley, and a touch of oregano. But feel free to play around with other herbs like dill or chervil.
Finally, fried halloumi is very salty. Hence, I do not call for more than a touch of salt in the tomato-cucumber salad portion of the recipe, but feel free to add it to taste.
Enjoy this special — and especially fresh — summer salad.
Love that summer tomato, cucumber and fried halloumi salad? You’ll also love:
- Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad
- Cured Salmon and Cucumber Smørrebrød
- Melted Grape Tomato Bruschetta
- Greek Mediterranean Mezze Platter
Tomato Cucumber Fried Halloumi Salad
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
- 1 cup ripe cut tomatoes (halved grape tomatoes or 1 large heirloom tomato cut into 1-inch chunks works best)
- 3 Persian cucumbers or 1 smallish English hothouse cucumber, cut into a large dice
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh, flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped fine
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ lemon, juiced
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 12 turns fresh-cracked black pepper
- Pat the halloumi slices very dry with clean paper towels and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate for about 5 minutes while you cut and prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut the tomatoes and cucumbers, chop the herbs, and toss the vegetables and herbs together in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the lemon juice, and the salt, sugar and black pepper. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.Tip: Halloumi cheese is very salty, so this portion of the salad relies on herbs for flavor instead of salt.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium low with the remaining olive oil, or enough to lightly coat the surface.
- Add the sliced halloumi, leaving space between each slice, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to pan-fry the cheese in batches, adding more oil as necessary.
- Check to see if any liquid has pooled in the bottom of the tomato cucumber salad, and if so, drain it. Add the fried halloumi to the tomato cucumber salad. Lightly toss and serve immediately.
Thank you for demystifying halloumi cheese! This turned out so well and I got to use up some of my garden tomatoes, too 🙂
very good combination of ingredients. I love halloumi and will be sad when the season is over! Not sure why halloumi seems to have a season, but oh well!
Very good, fresh. First time frying (or cooking, really) halloumi and I love it.
This was really excellent and a definite keeper. Tonight we had it as a light supper with a baguette, but I could also see serving it alongside a small piece of salmon or a lamb loin chop. (Jenn Segal recommended your site, and she was right.)
Thank you, Gail, so much! And I am glad that you enjoyed it. That sounds perfect; the crusty baguette must have tasted just right. Welcome to Unpeeled, and thanks again for this great note!
I’ve been following unpeeled for a while and just wanted to say how much I love your writing style, photos and most importantly your recipes! Tried this tonight with guests and it was quite the hit! Thanks so much
Thank you so very much for this wonderful note! It absolutely made my day to read it and am so glad that you found Unpeeled! Glad you liked the salad, too. I find that sometimes the simple dishes are the best of all, like this one.