Halloumi Watermelon Salad

Home to Mediterranean cuisine, Halloumi has become a huge food trend in many parts of the world.

The cheese is famous for its high melting point which makes it perfect for anything from salads to burgers. Besides, the pleasant salty taste of Halloumi cheese pairs excellently with sweet food. That’s where this delicious Halloumi watermelon salad comes into play.

Halloumi Watermelon Salad Welcome2Jordan

What is Halloumi?

Halloumi is a semi-hard brined cheese made of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It originates from the Mediterranean region. Most probably native to ancient Egypt, it’s widely produced in Cyprus today. Halloumi is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. What makes Halloumi special are its high melting point and its salty taste and gooey texture.

By the way, today Halloumi is mainly produced in Cyprus. The European Union has introduced a protected designation of origin for Halloumi in 2021. That means that only grilling cheese made in Cyprus can be called Halloumi. That doesn’t apply for other parts of the world though.

Ingredients

For this quick and easy Halloumi watermelon salad recipe, you only need a handful of ingredients:

  • Halloumi cheese
  • Watermelon
  • Basil. If you don’t have any fresh basil available, you can use fresh mint instead. Fresh herbs do really level up the recipe.
  • Pine nuts
  • Honey. It gives an additional hint of sweetness to your salad.

I really like to limit the ingredients in this salad so as not to overpower the sweet flavor of the watermelon. The salad is perfect during summertime. If you’re looking for a hearty Halloumi salad, check out my classic Middle Eastern Halloumi salad.

Note: The exact quantities (according to the amount of servings) can be found in the recipe card at the end of this recipe.

Halloumi Watermelon Salad Recipe

How to Make Halloumi Watermelon Salad

Step 1: Slice the watermelon

To make sure your salad is warm and fresh, I first prepare the watermelon. Depending on the size of your watermelon, you want to cut it into halves first. You can use parts of it for your salad, and parts of it later (e.g. to snack or to make watermelon juice).

Cut the watermelon half into slices. Trim off the rinds with a sharp knife, then cut into the desired shape. Depending on your preference, you can chop the watermelon slices into small cubes or wedges. Transfer onto a plate.

Never cut a watermelon before? See here for a detailed tutorial on how to cut watermelon.

How to cut watermelon Welcome2Jordan

Step 2: Grill the Halloumi cheese

Remove the Halloumi cheese from the packaging and drain the brine. Remove any excess brine with kitchen paper. Cut the Halloumi cheese into slices (about 1 cm / 0.4 inch thick). If you like, you can cut the slices into halves (make sure they don’t break further). Place the Halloumi cheese into a pan and grill on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Add the grilled Halloumi to the watermelon.

By the way, when using a grilling pan, you don’t need to add any oil. You can add a thin layer of olive when using a conventional frying pan.

How to grill Halloumi

Step 3: Toast pine nuts

Add pine nuts into a small frying pan (without oil). Toast briefly (1-2 minutes) until slightly golden. Don’t make them too dark! Sprinkle the pine nuts over the watermelon and Halloumi.

Step 4: Add basil

Add fresh basil to your salad. Depending on the size of your leaves, you can either add whole leaves or roughly chop them.

Step 5: Add honey

To round off your salad, drizzle a bit of honey on top. Serve immediately.

Halloumi Watermelon Salad Welcome2Jordan

What to Serve with Halloumi Watermelon Salad?

Halloumi watermelon salad makes a wonderful starter or a light meal. You can serve it with pita bread.

It can be paired with other Middle Eastern salads such as Tabbouleh, as well as many meat dishes such as grilled chicken.

Preparation Tips

How to Grill Halloumi?

Grilling Halloumi is quite easy. Remove it from the packaging, drain the brine, pat dry the cheese and cut it into thin slices or cubes. Add the cheese in the hot pan and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. If using a grill pan, you don’t need any oil.

If you’d like to know more about how to grill Halloumi (and overcome common pitfalls), check out my grilled Halloumi recipe.

How to grill Halloumi

How to Cut a Watermelon?

There are many ways to cut a watermelon, depending on how you prefer it. For salads, you can best make small cubes or wedges. To do so, cut the watermelon into halves. Place one half in front of you. Cut the watermelon half into slices. Trim off the rinds with a sharp knife. Then, cut into cubes or triangles. See here for a detailed tutorial on how to cut watermelon.

Cut off rind watermelon

Make Ahead & Storage

Grilled Halloumi tastes best when served right after grilling. It’s not a dish you’d prepare in advance, as Halloumi gets rubbery once it cools down. If you have any leftovers however, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge to consume the next day.

Cut watermelon can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Once your watermelon is cut up, cover with a plastic wrap to avoid it from drying out.

Recipe Ideas with Watermelon

Can’t get enough of watermelon? Here are some more Middle Eastern recipes with watermelon:

Any Questions or Feedback?

If you liked this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. In case you’ve any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment (down the page). I’m happy to help you make delicious Middle Eastern food at home.

Halloumi Watermelon Salad Welcome2Jordan

Halloumi Watermelon Salad

Kitty Ramasamy
Halloumi has a pleasant salty flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of watermelon. Here’s my recipe for Middle Eastern style Halloumi watermelon salad.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4 people
Calories 215 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 600 g watermelon
  • 200 g Halloumi cheese
  • 2 tsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp honey
  • fresh basil handful

Instructions
 

  • Remove the rind of the watermelon. Cut into cubes or wedges (depending on your preference). Place onto a plate or bowl.
  • Remove Halloumi from the packaging, drain any excess brine and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut the Halloumi into slices (1 cm / 0.4 inch thick). Place in a grill pan. Grill for 2-3 minutes from one side, then flip around and grill for another 2-3 minutes until golden on both sides. Add the grilled Halloumi to the watermelon.
  • Toast pine nuts in a pan (1-2 minutes, until slightly golden). Add to the remaining ingredients.
  • Add fresh herbs (e.g. basil) to your salad. Use whole leaves or roughly chop.
  • Top with fresh honey. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 12gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 602mgPotassium: 175mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 854IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 511mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.

Keyword Halloumi
Did you enjoy this recipe?Let me know how it was in the comments below or tag welcome2jordan.blog on Instagram.
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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