Seared Halloumi Lends A Salty Richness To Winter Salads

Alongside crunchy nuts and a zesty dressing, cheese is a savory salad finisher, indicating that the blend of greens, fruits, and veggies is now complete. While most cheeses are added to the salad at the end, almost like an afterthought, halloumi is an integral part of any salad it resides in. Sear halloumi to give your winter salads a touch of salty richness.

Although cheeses like Gruyère and Camembert are renowned for their gourmet qualities, halloumi is a lesser-known star of the dairy category. Yet, in several ways, it stands apart from the rest. Not only does it hold its shape when cooked, but it can work as a meat substitute. Made primarily of sheep and goat's milk, the high-protein cheese has a rich, umami taste that can stand in place of (or beside) meat and seafood in all your hearty winter salads. Halloumi can be eaten raw, but it's when cooked, particularly in recipe developer Michelle McGlinn's shrimp and beet winter salad with seared halloumi, it tastes so much better.

Seared halloumi develops a crisp browned exterior that encases the salty, creamy cheese within. McGlinn fries the cheese in olive oil at a medium heat, searing each side for two minutes. The cheese will release its liquid and take on a golden brown color, indicating that it's done. Halloumi has a slight tang that pairs beautifully with earthy beets, as well as any ingredient that makes up a winter salad.

Serve seared halloumi with these winter salads

Swap feta for halloumi in this salmon and squash salad. The cheese serves as a creamy addition amidst leafy kale, luscious cubes of butternut squash, and mouth-watering salmon. With its umami-forward flavor, halloumi brings a savory balance to the sweet roasted pear dressing. Adorned with crunchy walnuts and tendrils of shaved Brussels sprouts, this salad is the perfect dish to usher in the cold weather.

Hailing from Cyprus, halloumi shines when paired with pomegranates, another Mediterranean fixture, so add seared slices to a wheat berry and pomegranate salad. Halloumi's texture is the perfect match when eaten alongside chewy pieces of wheat berries and juicy pomegranate arils. While arugula lends the salad a bitter, peppery bite, Marcona almonds provide a buttery, satisfying crunch.

Apple lovers can elevate this simple, delicious apple harvest salad with seared halloumi. The zesty honey balsamic vinaigrette brings out the tangy flavors of the cheese. Tossed with a bed of crisp lettuce and strips of herbaceous cilantro, the crunchy apples and pecans meet with creamy halloumi to make a hearty winter salad full of satisfying textures.