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Warm Lentil and Halloumi Salad

Warm Lentil and Halloumi Salad 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Nov 7, 2012

This meatless dish can serve as a main or side. It contains ingredients that might appeal to more sophisticated palates, such as halloumi cheese, the firm and salty curd usually made of goat's milk and sheep's milk. It is available at most large grocery stores and has a high melting point, which means it's great for grilling and even a quick pan saute.

Here it serves as the center of the action, surrounded by beautiful lentils (spring for the green Puy variety for best results), pomegranate seeds, green chili pepper, thin ribbons of zucchini and threads of red onion.

Serve with warmed crusty bread.

Servings: 4
  • 1 cup green lentils, preferably Puy
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube (may substitute 1 teaspoon powdered vegetable bouillon)
  • 2 small zucchini (about 5 ounces total)
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1 small green chili pepper
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • Handful cilantro leaves, with tender stems
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 8 ounces halloumi cheese (see headnote)


Pick over the lentils and rinse to remove any foreign matter. Drain and place in a large saucepan. Add the water, making sure the lentils are covered by about an inch. Add the bouillon cube and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to make sure the bouillon cube has dissolved, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes; the lentils should be just tender. Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons. Cut the onion into very thin slices. Stem, seed and mince the green chili pepper. Crush, then mince the garlic. Add the zucchini slices, onion, chili pepper, garlic, cilantro, pomegranate seeds and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the warm lentils; toss gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cut the cheese into 1/2-inch-thick rectangular slices. Lightly season on both sides with salt and black pepper. Add to the skillet and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side until the surface of the cheese is golden brown. Remove from the heat.

Re-stir the lentil salad and season with salt and/or black pepper as needed. Divide among individual plates. Place equal portions of the warm halloumi slices on top of each portion. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Garlic: The Mighty Bulb," by Natasha Edwards (Firefly Books, 2012).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 460

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 28g 43%

Saturated Fat: 12g 60%

Cholesterol: 40mg 13%

Sodium: 1080mg 45%

Total Carbohydrates: 33g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 8g 32%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 24g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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