This Roasted Beetroot and Halloumi Salad Has a Rich, Deep Colour with Delicious Flavours. The Crunch of The Pistachio and The Sweetness of The Pomegranate Glaze Will Make This A Showstopper.
What Is Halloumi Cheese?
Originating from Cyprus, halloumi is a semi-hard cheese traditionally made from a combination of goat and sheep’s milk but now can also be made with cow’s milk.
Soaked in brine, halloumi is well known for strong salty flavours which is why I like pan frying them for salads to add a bit of punch and texture. It is one of those ingredients where I find my non-cheese eating (yes – don’t get me started) family members will delightfully enjoy as they have no idea it is cheese and just love it for what it is!
What Cheese Is Similar To Halloumi?
Similar to other fresh milk cheeses like mozzarella, halloumi has a layered texture but more salty and firmer like feta. Once cooked though, I find it resembles the Greek saganaki kefalotyri cheese.
It is however hard to substitute halloumi in recipes because of its unique salty taste, stringy body and crispy crust when pan fried or grilled. And of course, that squeaky texture!
Can You Eat Halloumi Cheese Raw?
There is no harm in eating halloumi raw and sometimes you can find it thinly sliced on salads.
However, with a high melting point, halloumi is most often served pan fried or grilled. Cooking halloumi changes the texture from salty and a bit rubbery to deliciously creamy with good savoury notes. This adds great flavour to any salad or as a simple meze dish with a good squeeze of lemon alongside watermelon, fresh dips and warm pitta bread. Hmmmm, how could you say no to that?
Why I Love Roasted Beetroot Salad with Halloumi and Pomegranate Glaze
Growing up I detested beetroot. Limp with a funny tin taste. Did not understand why anyone could eat canned beetroot. Then as an adult, someone introduced me to fresh beetroot. Oh wow. It’s incredible how obsessed we are with beetroot. Do have a look at our list of the best produce to pair beetroot with.
My favourite way of serving beetroot is roasting it. It’s super easy and gives a more intensified sweet flavour with a delicious tender bite. Plus the deep red-purple colours are amazing. Love combining it with savoury halloumi and the earthy crunch of pistachio. All these rich flavours just explode in your mouth.
How to Make Roasted Beetroot Salad with Halloumi and Pomegranate Glaze
Roast the Beetroot
I prefer to use a bunch of baby beets rather than large beetroots but either way works. Trim the green tops of the baby beets, give it a good wash and wrap in foil to roast in oven. This will take approximately 1 hour in a preheated 220°C (430°F) oven. To check if the beetroot is tender, you can use a small knife to pierce through it. Just be careful of the steam as you open the foil package! It can get very hot.
After the beetroot has cooled down, peel the skin off. I prefer to peel my beets quickly under running water to avoid red stains on my hands. Alternatively you can wear disposable gloves.
Dressing the Beetroot
I then chop up the baby beets into halves or quarters (depending on size) and dress it lightly with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to add extra flavour. Let the beetroot sit in the dressing for a few minutes to soak in the juices before assembling.
Toast the Pistachio Kernels
Other than adding a crunchy texture to the dish, the beautiful green chopped pistachio provides an interesting layer of colour to this dish. If you don’t enjoy the tastes of pistachios, walnuts would work well too. Shell-less pistachio kernels are readily available at most supermarkets or whole food stores.
Whilst the beets are roasting, roughly chop up the kernels and then in a heated pan, gently dry toast the pistachio. Once you see some colour on the nuts, remove from pan and set aside to cool down.
How to Fry Halloumi?
I’m very lucky to have a local Mediterranean deli within walking distance of my home so I get a good selection of halloumi. Most supermarkets will stock a variety of halloumi as well.
Traditionally, halloumi is made of a mixture of goats and sheep milk with a hint of mint but most brands today you will find they use pasteurised cows milk. They do vary in texture and saltiness so best to try a few different brands to find the one you love the most.
Whilst the beets are continuing to roast, cut the halloumi in thick slices and fry in a large fry pan over medium high heat. If you’re using a non-stick pan, no need for oil but otherwise lightly brush halloumi with olive oil before frying. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and then flip over to fry the other side. Once you remove from the pan, give it a good squeeze of lemon juice to balance the saltiness.
Layering and Dressing the Salad
I love serving this salad on a rectangular platter to match the shape of the halloumi pieces when cut.
Arrange the fried halloumi first, then scatter the beetroot on top.
Thinly cut red onion from stem to root and scatter on top of beetroot. I prefer stem to root for a slightly different look to this salad.
Drizzle pomegranate glaze or molasses across the salad. If you can’t find pomegranate glaze or molasses at your local stores, balsamic glaze would be a good substitute. Both pomegranate or balsamic glaze is a thickened concoction with added sugar – it gives a heavenly sweet but tart taste and makes for the perfect beetroot salad dressing.
Finally, generously sprinkle roughly torn coriander leaves and toasted pistachio .
If you were to take this beetroot and halloumi salad to a party, all elements can be premade and easily assembled at your destination. You won’t need to worry about soggy salad leaves! Striking colours, delicious flavours and easy to make. A roast beetroot recipe you will definitely come back for more.
That’s all xx
More Egg Free Salad Recipes:
Roasted Beetroot Salad with Halloumi and Pomegranate Glaze
- 500 g halloumi cheese
- 50 g pistachio kernels
- 3 beetroots, medium sized
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ bunch coriander
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- Preheat oven 220°C or 430°F
- Wash and trim leafy tops of beetroot. Then wrap whole beetroot in foil to roast in oven for 1 hour or until tender.
- Roughly chop pistachio kernels and over medium heat, toast pistachio kernels in pan. Remove and let cool.
- Cut halloumi in thick 1cm slices and brush lightly with olive oil. Fry halloumi slices in a large pan over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Squeeze some lemon juice over the cheese.
- Once beetroot is tender (you can test by piercing a knife through it), remove from foil and set aside to cool down.
- Once cool enough to hold, gently peel off skin with your hands. If the beetroot is roasted properly, the skin should easily come off when you push your thumbs against it.
- Chop up beetroot into smaller bite-sized pieces.
- Thinly slice red onion and roughly tear up coriander leaves.
- Place beetroot in bowl, add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix well together and marinate for a few minutes before assembly.
- To assemble salad, place halloumi on serving plate, pile chopped beetroot on top, scatter sliced red onions and then drizzle with pomegranate glaze.
- Sprinkle with toasted pistachio, coriander leaves and serve.
- To avoid red stains on hands, you can peel beetroot under running water or use disposable gloves.
- Pistachio can be replaced by other nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Great dish for entertaining to go with lamb or steak or add it to a range of meze dishes with dips, cold meats, olives and warm bread.