This Mediterranean inspired Halloumi Caesar Salad is a complete meal! Croutons, crunchy cucumbers and crisp lettuce are coated in a creamy and cooling vegetarian (no anchovy) Greek Yogurt Caesar dressing. Filling and intensely flavorful, this is not your average halloumi salad!
Have you tried halloumi cheese yet?
If you live in London, the answer is probably a resounding “DUH!” because it is on every gastropub’s menu in some form here. Halloumi burgers, halloumi salad, deep fried halloumi and chips, halloumi everything. But obviously, not everyone who reads this blog lives in London and what I’m hearing is that it can be harder to track down in some parts of the world. (But you should try!)
It hails from Cyprus but is also popular in Turkish and Lebanese cuisine, and, more recently, the aforementioned British pubs.
It’s a super salty non-melting cheese made from goats and/or sheep’s milk, commonly described as “squeaky”
A very strange adjective to describe food, but sort of accurate.
And halloumi sits beautifully in places where chicken otherwise might have, so halloumi salads are common. But sometimes, let’s be honest, restaurants and pubs do not do justice to salads. Treating them as a light option, or just a side dish.
Well I’ve remedied that. This halloumi salad is a whooole meal. I’d consider it healthy and nutritious, but it’s not light – I think “hearty” is the word I am looking for.
Adding a very salty cheese to a very salty, briny dressing like caesar could be overkill if you’re not careful. So by using a nice cool greek yogurt as a base, and adding a handful of crunchy spiralized cucumber, we’re keeping things in check.
How to Make the Greek Yogurt Caesar Salad Dressing
This greek yogurt caesar dressing is anchovy-free (because, hi! vegetarian blog right here!) so to make up for the lack of salty, briny anchovy, I’ve subbed capers. And also… surprise!… green olives! They add a little olive-y kick for extra Greek-ness in this bowl. I think it works, but if you’re skeptical, no problemo! Just throw in some more capers, or some anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce.
And since you’re going to the effort of making some croutons and cooking halloumi, the dressing is very easy to make. Everything goes in a food processor. Blend. You’re done!
If tomorrow you go out looking for this mysterious squeaky cheese, and find that halloumi is in short supply where you live, here’s what you can do. Either make your own (why not!), or use whatever non-melting cheese you have available to you, like Farmers Cheese or paneer. And add a little salt and seasoning when it’s roasting!
If you love Caesar salads, you should also try my vegan caesar salad with avocado and garlic croutons!