Halloumi salad featuring grilled cheese marinated pomegranate molasses and zaatar with couscous, chickpeas and chargrilled sweet peppers.
Taking around half an hour to make, this meal is light but still filling making it the perfect vegetarian meal.
Pomegranate Molasses Halloumi with Couscous and Chickpeas
I love halloumi cheese but apparently, its squeaky texture ain’t for everyone, however, it is definitely my mojo!
It’s not its first time out here on my site, I use it in everything from this wonderful halloumi pasta recipe with red pesto and harissa halloumi kebabs to some glorious halloumi burgers. I’ve even got an Indian-inspired halloumi cheese curry.
Hre halloumi cheese is marinated in olive oil, zaatar and pomegranate molasses before being grilled or griddled and becoming the star of a salad.
The salad is a combination of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and couscous with jarred chargrilled peppers, red onion and cucumber.
It is gloriously quick and easy to make, it will go from your fridge to your table in well under 30 minutes.
It is also great to throw into a lunch box and take to work or school!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I fry the halloumi in a regular frying pan?
Yes, but be sure to use a nonstick pan because the pomegranate molasses will stick if you do not.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, but the texture of cold halloumi cheese is not for everyone, but if you like it (I do), then knock yourself out, this recipe makes for a great lunch box meal.
What are black chickpeas?
They are like regular chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), but they are a little smaller and range in colour from dark brown to almost black. Sometimes they are known as black chana or Bengal gram.
They are higher in fibre than regular chickpeas and have a nuttier taste as well as being a little firmer in texture.
What is pomegranate molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is a reduction of pomegranate juice. It will be carried by many high street supermarkets and if you are struggling any Arabic or North African store should have some.
I love this stuff and it is often used as part of a dressing. But I love using it as a glaze just as I do on these pomegranate chicken thighs.
It also forms the base for the sauce of a stunning Iranian chicken stew called fesenjan, so don’t worry about having it hanging around in the cupboard.
Fear not if you cannot find it though as you can make homemade pomegranate molasses.
What is zaatar?
Here I am referring to zaatar or za’atar as it is often written as a herb/spice blend. It typically contains oregano, thyme and savoury along with salt, sesame seeds and sumac.
Every single Zaatar you buy will taste slightly different, but everyone you buy will taste wonderful. It makes a great paste when mixed with olive oil and cooked in the same way we do in this halloumi salad recipe. It should be readily available in most large supermarkets.
I love serving this delicious halloumi salad with pita bread, simply split them down the middle pile in some of the salad and Bob’s yer uncle!
I often also add an extra drizzle of either pomegranate molasses or tahini.
This recipe also works really well as a lunch box meal if you like cold halloumi cheese, which isn’t for everyone.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Grill or griddle pan.
- Kitchen tongs and or a spatula.
- Kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Mixing bowls and a large salad bowl.
- Kettle to boil the water for the couscous.
- Sieve or colander to drain the chickpeas.
- Teaspoon to scrape the seeds from the cucumber.
Halloumi cheese salad that's marinated in olive oil, pomegranate molasses and zaatar before being grilled and then served with chickpeas, couscous and chargrilled peppers.
- 225g (8oz) Halloumi Cheese
- 2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (plus extra to brush the grill/griddle pan)
- 1 Tbsp Zaatar
- 285g (170g Net Weight of Pepper) Jar of Chargrilled Peppers in Oil
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil from the Pepper Jar
- 50g (¼ Cup) Couscous
- 75ml (⅓ Cup) Boiling Water
- 400g (14oz) Tin Chickpeas, I used mixed black and white ones but use anything you like.
- 75g (1 Small) Red Onion
- ¼ Cucumber (Around 100g)
- 30-35g (2-3 Cups) Rocket or Arugula
- Mix the pomegranate molasses in a bowl with the olive oil and zaatar.
- Remove the halloumi cheese from the packet and break it in half along the fold line, then cut each half into 3 evenly sized strips, then roll the strips around in the pomegranate molasses mix and allow them to sit whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Tear the peppers into strips between ½-1cm thick (¼-½"), they will naturally tear into different shapes, it's all good, then place them in a large salad bowl.
- Take 1 tablespoon of oil from the pepper jar and stir it through the couscous.
- Pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover it with cling film.
- Drain the tin of chickpeas, place them in a colander and rinse under cold water, then add them to the salad bowl with the peppers.
- Cut the red onion in half, peel it then slice it into half-moon shapes as finely as you can and add it to the salad bowl.
- Cut the quarter of the cucumber in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, then slice it into half-moon shapes and toss it in the salad bowl.
- Pick any tough stems from the rocket and set it aside.
- You should now be about 10 minutes deep into preparation which means the couscous should be cooked, fork it through and add it to the salad bowl.
- Heat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat and whilst it is heating up wipe any excess marinade from the halloumi cheese.
- Brush the grill pan with a little oil then cook the halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side and get some nice griddle marks.
- Whilst the halloumi is grilling scrape any remaining marinade into the salad, give it a mix and as as much salt as you think is necessary. I used around ¼ teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
- When the halloumi cheese is grilled chop each "stick" into 3 cubes.
- Just before serving toss the rocket through the salad, serve and top with the halloumi cubes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 846Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 727mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 14gSugar: 15gProtein: 41g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.