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Corn Salad with Halloumi, Peppers, Olives and Cumin-Lemon Dressing

Corn Salad with Halloumi, Peppers, Olives and Cumin-Lemon Dressing 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

Aug 2, 2021

The contrast of textures and tastes in this salad is what makes it sublime, and pan-frying the corn kernels instead of boiling them adds another layer of flavor to an otherwise simple dish. You could substitute feta, preferably Bulgarian, for the halloumi (see VARIATION).

Total time: 25 mins

Storage Notes: Leftover salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the dressing
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • For the salad
  • 3 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced to size of corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
  • 5 ounces halloumi cheese, diced to size of corn kernels; you may substitute feta (see VARIATION)
  • 8 to 10 pitted green olives, such manzanilla or pimento-stuffed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

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Make the dressing: In a large salad bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cumin until combined.

Make the salad: Working with one ear of corn at a time, place a cob horizontally on a large cutting board and, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the kernels off as close to the cob as possible.

In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the corn in a single layer and cook without stirring until the kernels sizzle and pop and start to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the kernels well — they will have browned in spots — and spread out in a single layer again. Cook until the kernels are browned all over, about 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. (If your skillet is smaller, you may need to cook the corn in batches.)

Once the corn has cooled, add it to the bowl, followed by the bell pepper, jalapeño, halloumi, olives and mint, and toss to combine.

Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. If serving from the refrigerator, let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to take the chill off.

VARIATION: If you can't find halloumi and want to substitute feta, crumble it on top at the very end, and mix right before serving. Once you toss the ingredients together, the feta will mix with the dressing and form a creamy emulsion that coats the salad. It makes for a more beautiful presentation to leave the feta on top until the last minute.

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Recipe Source

From food writer Reem Kassis.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (about 1 1/2 cups): 357

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 28g 43%

Saturated Fat: 10g 50%

Cholesterol: 31mg 10%

Sodium: 858mg 36%

Total Carbohydrates: 17g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 12g

*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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